Family Video against smoking

A Colorado women diagnosed with lung cancer has produced a documentary about her battle with the disease and the impact on her family, in hopes of dissuading young people from smoking Susan DeWitt, 39, a former smoker, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in January 2004. A few months later, she ran across some teenagers smoking in a mall parking lot and asked them if there was anything she could say to them to get them to quit. When she suggested a film about what it would be like to watch a parent die of cancer, the teens stopped joking and agreed that it might be persuasive.

Encouraged, DeWitt asked her teenage children to begin filming her own struggles with cancer. That battle so far has included a failed surgery to remove a tumor, and the detection of small tumors that had spread to her brain. The video documents the private concerns of DeWitt’s children as well as landmarks like the day they helped shave their mother’s head.

“My mom watched me graduate from high school. It’s the greatest feeling watching them sit in the stands, cheering me on when they called my name to get my diploma,” said DeWitt’s son, Cody, 19. “And I want her there when I graduate college and I go out in the real world. But more importantly, most of all, I want my younger sisters to have a mom waiting for them after they get their diploma, helping them through all the hard times that they’re going to have.”

Cody says in the documentary, “Through My Children’s Eyes,” that he had previously smoked with high-school friends but had not done so since his mother’s diagnosis. The DeWitt’s goal is to have the video played at every high school and junior high in Colorado.

About 80 percent of people diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer are dead within five years. DeWitt’s cancer is currently considered stable.

“They always say that the hardest thing for a parent to do is bury your child,” Cody said. “But the hardest thing for a kid to do is watch your parents die. Slowly. It’s unbelievable and it’s just horrible.”

To contact the Susan L. DeWitt Foundation for Extended Breath, e-mail susandewittaol.com.

Source: ABC News reported Jan. 10.06

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