Michael’s Story

Over the past few years, Michael McKay has gotten involved with the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina with hopes to draw more attention and funding to lung cancer. From securing sponsorships for the 5K events across the state, to asking for silent auction items for the Evening of Hope Gala, Mike has worked nonstop to bring awareness and funding to Lung Cancer.

For Mike, the reason to get involved is personal. In July of 2008, Mike lost the love of his life, Jill, to lung cancer at the age of 46.

Slim and in terrific shape, Jill McKay thought it was a pulled muscle. Turns out, it was the first sign of blood clots in her legs and lungs — the first symptom of the lung cancer that Jill would succumb to by the end of July. “It all happened so fast,” said, Mike, her sweetheart since the sixth grade. “She didn’t even have the chance to respond to treatment.”

The summer was a whirlwind of medical care and then profound grief for Mike. But in the months that have followed, he grew curious about the disease that had robbed him of his wife and his two adult children of their mother.

“I was stunned to learn that lung cancer is the leading cause of death among cancers,” he said. “Yet it receives far less attention and far less research money than other cancers.”

We are honored to have the help of Mike and so many of our volunteers, whose path to our organization are all too often personal. Our organization depends on the support and commitment of our volunteers to carry out the mission and vision of our organization. We could not be where we are today without all their support.