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Lorene is telling her story of losing Gary (her husband) to lung cancer that had spread to his brain. Gary Sandifur, died at the age of 51 from smoking-related illnesses. Gary, who had smoked all of his life, had promised Lorene and his family that he would quit smoking on his 50th birthday. Before turning 50, however, he began experiencing headaches and dizziness. He visited a doctor for testing, and the day before his 50th birthday, the results showed cancerous tumors in his brain. Stage Four lung cancer had spreadfrom his lungs to his brain.
Lorene got involved with Indiana’s public awareness campaign for one reason—to save lives. “I don’t want your wife or husband to feel the pain that I am experiencing. I hope to encourage people to never start smoking and those who are addicted, I encourage them to quit today,” Sandifur said. Lorene’s story is intended to help educate Hoosiers about the seriousness of the dangers of tobacco use.
After learning he was dying of cancer, Gary started speaking to children and teenagers about the dangers of smoking. He wanted to get the message out to as many people as possible that smoking was not worth the risk involved. After living twice as long as the doctors predicted and talking to as many kids as he could, Gary lost his battle with cancer. Gary didn’t get to finish the work he started. Lorene has decided to continue the work that Gary had begun.
Now, five years after his death, Lorene is teaching at Ben Davis University High School. She enjoys doing speaking engagements, encouraging smokers to quit and deterring youth from starting. Sandifur said, “I never envisioned what an impact telling his story would make. People always tell me how my story moved them to quit. I think it may be like that for most smokers, they want to quit but are scared about their future, about the unknowns. I ask them; what are you waiting for?”
Today, after running in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November, Lorene is qualified for the Boston Marathon in April. What a remarkable accomplishment for her and her family. You can follow Lorene Sandifur’s story on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuitNowIndiana and support her journey to Boston by making the decision to quit smoking or help a loved one to quit.
Find your inspiration to quit smoking. Call 1-800-Quit-Now or visit QuitNowIndiana.com.