Adam Klein

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“My mother was the epitome of health. Worked out every day. Never smoked a day in her life. Ate totally organic. Just lived life fully and incredibly healthfully and she somehow got lung cancer. I think there’s a lot of bias about lung cancer as a disease because people kind of assume that you must have done something to cause it. It’s so crazy for us to think she’s gone and to think that it’s because of something like lung cancer because of how vital she was right up until the end of her life. It’s just so surreal.”

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“She passed in May. She was diagnosed a year ago in August, so it was quick. As recently as December we were river rafting, zip-lining, dancing and traveling.”adamklein-9

“I’m going to be on Survivor this fall. That has been a real family bonding thing for us over the years. The show premiered when I was 9. The first episode we watched was the finale on Season 1 and I instantly was hooked. From then on I would make fantasy leagues with my parents and then we would watch all the episodes. I applied and they said ‘We’re interested in you but we’re not looking for individuals right now, we’re looking to do a family season.’ So I went to my dad, and my mom, and my brother and asked who wanted to apply with me. My mom and I went through the process and almost got on the show together.  When I got on this year it was the toughest thing I ever had to do in terms of leaving. But there wasn’t a choice. The way my mom saw it, there wasn’t a choice. She never saw herself as sick. She never wanted us to stop pursuing our dreams. She thrived every single moment of her life, and she expected the same from us.”

adamklein-3“When I got accepted she told me I had to go. Now I feel like my story will be her story and we’ll have a real opportunity to share why we love my mom Susie so much. It’s going to be the most beautiful and difficult thing to watch because the whole idea is that it would give us something to look forward to as a family and it would give her something to fight for. And while we’re not going to be able to watch the television show together I genuinely believe, and I’m not a very spiritual person, but I believe in our own way, she experienced Survivor with me.”adamklein-8

“She became very spiritual and would send out energy and I could feel that. I knew I was playing for the both of us when I was there.”adamklein-4

“What did that feel like?”

“I just knew I was doing the right thing. It was what she wanted and there was no better way to honor her and represent her than by living as fully as I knew how. I just felt her, she was with me constantly. I feel like a part of her lives on inside of me.”

adamklein-7“My mom became centered around energy. The energy she was giving out and the energy that surrounded her family. While she didn’t talk that way her whole life, she always lead her life in a way that her energy feed into other people. Anyone that ever meet her was taken by her. You couldn’t walk down the street without her seeing an old friend or making a new friend. She knew everyone and everyone knew her and it’s because she would walk down the street with the biggest smile on her face. Her energy was so infectious that you couldn’t help but be drawn to her.”adamklein-6

“She never saw herself as sick and she lived with such zest that I can only hope to do the same. So now I’m trying to educate people about lung cancer. Lung cancer is by far the biggest killer of any cancer but the funding for it isn’t there. Her passing is totally meaningless as far as we see it. If we can inject some meaning into her passing, that’s what we want to do. We’re trying to do that by 1) raising money for lung cancer research on YouCaring so other families won’t have to go through what we went through and 2) inspiring people to live like she lived. She was full of love, full of life, full of energy and laughter. If we can do either or both of those things we can bring some meaning into what seems pretty meaningless right now.”adamklein-5

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Dijon

September 16, 2016