PERRIS (CBSLA.com) — Susie Lemieux doesn’t just look like a superhero. In many ways, she is one.
She is still alive one year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – something she doesn’t take for granted.
“I live my life as a gift, one day at a time. I see every day as a gift now, whereas prior to diagnosis, that was not the case,” Lemieux said.
That was why she decided to celebrate the one-year survival mark by jumping out of a plane with other pancreatic survivors, including Roberta Luna, who was celebrating 15 years, and Lupe Romero, who was celebrating five years.
“I’m not going to let this cancer take away my joy. It can do whatever it wants to my body, but I’m not going to let it touch my spirit or my soul. And I’m not going to let it take away my joy,” Romero asserted.
The jumps were not just about celebrating personal milestones, it was also about spreading awareness of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
The group, based in Manhattan Beach, not only raises money for pancreatic cancer research, it also tries to make life better for the patients and their families.
“I couldn’t do any of the things I do without my support group and without the other survivors,” Luna said. “We’ve become a family, a family no one wants to be a member of. But it’s really a great family.”
It is a family that encourages each other to take literal leaps of faith, sometimes out of airplanes.
It might be a little scary at first. But compared to cancer, “if you can beat pancreatic cancer, you can jump out of an airplane,” Luna said.
“That was so much fun! I’m ready to go do it again. That was so great,” Lemieux said.