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This Lung Cancer Survivor Fundraises to Give Others Hope

Pat Wasilewski Group Ski Photo Outside in Mountains

After going through treatment for stage IV lung cancer, Pat Wasilewski wanted to give back. He shares his story and talks about why he takes part in events like Pink Park City to raise funds for cancer research.

From a very personal point of view, I can’t tell you how intimidating it was when you walk into the doctor’s office and they say those three words—"You have cancer." The doctor I’m working with now, Dr. Patel, my oncologist, when I first walked into his office he said, "You know, I can’t cure you, but I can treat you. We have a lot of different clocks that we can use."

What he meant by that was there were a lot of different treatments available for the cancer I have. I wouldn’t say it gave me extreme hope, but it gave me a path forward that says, "There are things they can do to treat me." They can make my life enjoyable.

Stage IV lung cancer, think about that. That’s scary stuff.

And here I am, three years later, living a pretty good life right now. I owe it to the next group of cancer patients coming down the line to help with today’s research, treatments, and everything that’s going on here, so that the next person that has what I have, has a better chance and opportunity going forward. Sort of pay it forward, so to speak.

That’s what got me interested in trying to raise money for Huntsman Cancer Institute. All I can say to people who are contemplating getting involved is just look around. Look around you. Everybody you see, people you ski with, people you hike with, 40% of those people are going to be touched by cancer. Let’s hope that we have better solutions a year from now, two years from now, so when they are touched by cancer, they have a higher probability of being able to battle it. You can see the value of all the research and development that’s going on here that I’m just so thankful for.

All my friends and family who helped donate the last time, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of what they’ve done for me and for the people who are going to follow me having cancer, you know, five years from now, 10 years from now. I just want to say thank you for all those people who have donated and I encourage you to give more if you can.

Cancer touches all of us.