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15 months ago, aged 34, Joanna was diagnosed with an incurable non-smoking lung cancer.

She decided to share her story on instagram, to help raise awareness for non-smoking lung cancers and to conquer the stigma attached to lung cancer. We are incredibly honored Joanna is sharing some of her story here with us today ❤️

What was your first reaction at finding out you were diagnosed with a non-smoking lung cancer?

Shock initially, followed by fear and disbelief. The information available online about Lung Cancer is extremely dated and doesn’t make for hopeful reading. There isn’t much about non smoking lung cancers available and it was a really scary time.

Have you ever about non-smoking lung cancers before diagnosis?

I hadn’t. My only experience of lung cancer was my grandfather who had passed away from lung cancer at the age of 72 after a lifetime of smoking.

What’s been the hardest part of living with your diagnosis?

Not knowing if I will see my daughter grow up is the hardest part. But that’s followed by fear, shame and a reluctance to tell people my cancer for fear of being judged. People assume you somehow deserve your cancer and must have been a smoker. Not enough is known about the rare genetic cancers that have no relation to smoking and its exhausting feeling like you have to defend yourself against this awful disease. Nobody deserves cancer and it can happen to anyone. You only need lungs, to get lung cancer.

You can follow Joanna’s journey on instagram at @justamammathrivingwithcancer.