The concept of Lung Leavin’ Day was created on February 2, 2006 by Heather Avon St James. The awareness raising campaign was as a result of the 36 year old being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Sadly at the time Heather was given only 15 month to live. However Heather was determined to fight this deadly disease for the sake of her husband and you daughter and insisted, after much research and contact with a renowned Mesothelioma surgeon, on the removal of her lung. On the day of her lung removal, which ultimately proved to be her life-saving surgery, her sister made a joke about it being Lung Leavin’ Day…and the name stuck.
The following year on the first anniversary, Heather’s family created the tradition of writing their fears in marker on kitchen plates and throwing them into a huge bonfire outside, symbolically smashing their deepest insecurities.
Lung leavin’ Day has grown over the years, taking shape as a celebration of life, and a fundraiser for mesothelioma and asbestos awareness. It has become a prominent day in the global mesothelioma community, and amasses a large crowd at Heather’s home in Minnesota each year. To date over $37,000 has been raised.
To get involved and show support for the fantastic achievement of Heather and all those that work in the field of mesothelioma and those affected, visit the website dedicated to the cause.