Lung Leavin’ Day

Lung Leavin' Day

Hi. I’m Heather Von St. James. I have a husband, Cameron, and a child.

When I was 36, just after my baby was born, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos. People that young aren’t supposed to get mesothelioma, but I did. When I was a girl, I wore my dad’s work coat all the time. It was covered in asbestos from his construction job.

People who get mesothelioma aren’t supposed to live for very long. I was told I had 15 months.

Eighteen years ago, I had my lung removed. I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my life. To try and lighten the situation, my sister nicknamed my surgery Lung Leavin’ Day. The name stuck, and now we celebrate it every year.

Lung Leavin’ Day is about overcoming your fears. I get together with my family & friends, and we write our fears on plates and then smash them in a fire.

Lung Leavin’ Day grows bigger every year, and we now use it as a fundraiser for mesothelioma awareness. To date, over $37,000 has been raised.

Cancer made me afraid of a lot of things: death, leaving my child, recurrence…

I decided I wouldn’t let that control me, and neither should you!

Type your fear onto the plate.

Smash it!
  • I’m afraid
    the cancer will come back.
  • I fear
    my child will grow up without
    a mom.
  • I fear
    financial disaster due
    to treatment costs.
  • I’m afraid
    the treatments won’t work.
  • I fear
    we won’t make a difference for others.

Click a Plate to Participate


Thanks for reading about Lung Leavin’ Day! Please share this page and, if you’d like to participate, visit on your desktop where you can smash your own fears and help spread the word.

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