Great American Smokeout to help smokers quit

Great American Smokeout - get ready to lose the habit, and become victorious over tobacco.

Donna Fernandez was a smoker for 36 years. After quitting, her doctor found a small lump near her collarbone that turned out to be a tumor. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Because her cancer was aggressive, she wasn’t a candidate for surgery or radiation. She tried chemotherapy, which only worked temporarily.

UT Southwestern is participating in a Inernational clinical trial for Immunotherapy. Dr. David Gerber explains the idea behind immunotherapy is to kickstart the body’s natural immune response to a cancer and patients diagnosed with cancer can lives for years after their diagnosis.

Fernandez’s been able to continue to enjoy her life three years after her diagnosis — which means her stage 4 lung cancer is being controlled. She now spends much of her free time with her husband of 41 years, and with her dogs, Barney and Cotton. She even trains them to do obstacle races.