The second week in May reminds me of my mother in so many ways. There is the Lilac Festival; lilacs were one of my mom’s favorite flowers. May 13 was my mom’s birthday and at times even fell on Mother’s Day, the day we get to honor the person who brought us into this world.

The week of May 8-14 is Women’s Lung Health Week, part of the American Lung Association’s Lung Force campaign to increase awareness of lung cancer, the No. 1 cancer killer. My mother died from lung cancer, and like many women lung cancer was not on her radar. By the time my mother was diagnosed, the cancer had already passed through her lymph nodes and moved on to attack other parts of her body. My mom died less than six months after her diagnosis.

Lung cancer often begins its war within the body quietly and painlessly. Unfortunately for too many, lung cancer is diagnosed in its latest stages. Through the Lung Force Campaign, the American Lung Association is increasing awareness that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer; early detection through screening improves outcomes, and increasing funding for research is vital to discover earlier detection methods and effective and nonobtrusive treatments.

This Mother’s Day, please share this information with all of the women in your life. I’m sharing this in memory of my mom, Gloria Young.

Visit the American Lung Association’s Lung Force page at bit.ly/2bQHENj.

Penny Gugino

American Lung Association of the Northeast