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Mom Gives Back While Facing Cancer

Volunteer Misty Lundquist at CLSB

As a current New Day patient, Misty – a single mom of three daughters – was still on a feeding tube when she signed up to volunteer at our Celebrity Lip Sync Battle. The tube was removed just two weeks before the event was scheduled occur.

Misty was diagnosed with aggressive esophageal cancer in April 2023, and has been through excruciating surgeries, treatments and side-effects since then – but none of it has stopped her.

“I’m trying to teach my three girls,” she explains. “This is going to knock me down for a minute, but I still have to keep going.  It’s all about trying to help for the greater good; that’s what I believe in. I fully believe that I recovered because I had such a great support system: family, friends, people like you (New Day).”

When Misty was diagnosed, she not only worked full-time, but also took as many side jobs as possible to make ends meet, including substitute teaching, real estate and golf course work. During her treatment, which included 25 rounds of radiation and 3 rounds of chemo simultaneously, as well as the removal of her esophagus, she was forced to stop working temporarily.

“I was living paycheck to paycheck prior to diagnosis,” she said.  “I’m a single mom of three girls; two have cars and I pay their insurance, while they pay for their cars. I’ve worked multiple jobs and I’m trying to make it to supervisor…then BAM you’re hit with cancer! My benefits helped but it was only 60% of my pay and I couldn’t work ANY of my other side jobs either.”

By the end of August, her pay had again declined and her application for financial assistance through her social worker had stalled.  Then she was notified she would lose her health insurance at the end of September.

“I was freaking out! That’s when New Day came in and assisted with my mortgage. One month of COBRA was $1,867, but I needed that extra month to prepare to go back to work. Now I’m back at work full-time.”

Today Misty is an advocate – telling her story, sharing the warning signs and urging friends and family to advocate for themselves and to get checked.  As it turns out, one of the seven people she told actually does have polyps in her throat. (Hiccups can be a symptom of esophageal cancer, and continued acid reflux that suddenly ceases can also be a sign.)

“After meeting Gina and watching the movie, just hearing that they understand from the outside looking in means so much. They’ve done this, and they are so inspiring. I hope it gives others hope to know there are good people out there. I want to keep paying it forward. I would be honored to help people in the way they have. I’m very appreciative of all that New Day has done for us.”


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