Don Stranathan is a stage IV non-small cell lung cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2008. A routine TB test in 2006 revealed a shadow on Don’s lung leading to a diagnosis two years later of non-small cell adenocarcinoma. His cancer had metastasized to his liver and was non-operable, so over the next six years, he began multiple courses of several different types of chemotherapy.
In November 2015, when a new tumor was discovered, Don elected to have genomic sequencing and started on nivolumab (Opdivo). After 34 infusions of Opdivo, he achieved a stable status until the following year when a lung bleb collapsed his right lung requiring both a VATC and a talc procedure to correct. A follow-up biopsy indicated no sign of cancer. Don serves on various programs and advisory boards that promote the education and research of lung cancer. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, biking, and social networking. Don and Penny met on a cancer website, and although Penny passed away in January 2014, he promised to continue advocating for cancer research and awareness.
As Don says, “If it weren’t for cancer I would have never met the love of my life and truly understood the meaning of living life to the fullest one day at a time.”