Mitchell Reports | April 20, 2012
>> and this weekend, hundreds of runners are going to be gathering here in washington to join in a national campaign against lung cancer in memory of one very brave young athlete.
>> hi, my name is jill . i'm 22 years old and i have lung cancer . ?
>> jill costello was only 21 years old when first diagnosed with stage 47b8 lung cancer . she had never smoked. in fact, she was a college varsity athlete. her cancers diagnosis and treatment didn't stop her from graduating with highest honors and helping her team place second in the ncaa championships in 2010 . less than a month later, jill lost her battle with cancer. joining me now, jill 's friends darby anderson and casey oakley who helped create the organization jill 's legacy an effort tols increase the survival rate from lung cancer , the number one cancer killer for men and women for decades. thank you both for joining us. casey , you were jill 's roommate and you know she didn't smoke. she was a healthy young woman . all of a sudden, she gets diagnosed with lung cancer and goes through all sorts of treatments, still remains a competitive varsity athlete and a year later, she's gone. how do you all deal with that? how did she deal with it?
>> it was a shock. and luckily, i from friends like darby and jill 's boyfriend bryce. the hardest thing was it's this time and age but the text messages every day and getting used to not having that. we kind of replace that with each other but moving out and finding a new roommate, it's never the same situation. you know, there's always that will gap in your heart.
>> and rdarby, you're here. it's a national program on 11 campuses at least to march to run, to jog for jill . you're trying to raise money and awareness about lung cancer , which i mean we know about the case of dana reeves ' christopher reeves ' wife. it's just a hideous disease, hitting people who have never done anything in terms of their personal health behavior to warrant getting it.
>> i mean so many people don't know that lung cancer is not just a smoker's disease. 80% of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients never smoked or quit decades ago. it's something people don't want to talk about because there's a sense of shame or blame when it comes to lung cancer . it's not the case anymore. jill is a perfect example, dana reebs. we have patients left and right that are being diagnosed and they're young and they've never touched a cigarette.
>> and casey , you're an athlete.
>> you're on the u.s. ski team and you live in park city . so you know the conditioning of the focus that is required. yet, jill was going through cancer treatment at the same time she was still crewing the team.
>> that's one of the shocking things is that jill put off, she had the symptomatic coughs and you know hoarse throat. but that's something you get with coming a crew boat too because you're yelling at the boat. she put it aside because she was a healthy athlete and never would have expected it. she was just like any other athlete, strong and at the top of her game. you never expect one of these diagnoses.
>> she's a real leader because she was leading the team, coaching the team in the ? water.
>> absolutely and she still leads us, absolutely, with what she left behind .
>> and darby , what are you trying to accomplish now?
>> the big everitt thing is let people know that will anyone can get lung cancer . through our jog for jills with our young advisory board , it's an advisory board to the lung cancer foundation called jill 's legacy and through these jog for jills we're trying to raise awareness and get young people involved. we're trying to start a movement that will let people know that anyone can get lung cancer and we're the ones that will make the difference. we're the next generation of donors, advocates, patients, doctors and if we start getting that message out now, we're going to be able to be the change later on.
>> locally here in washington, 10:00 a.m . this sunday, georgetown's campus, rain or shine . it's not a great forecast. 10:00 a.m . is the gathering point. i've got the bracelet already. the jog for jill , the green bracelet. that's because that was one of jill 's favorite colors?
>> yes low and teal were her favorite colors what covered our rooms.
>> well, in her memory, a living legacy for all of you.
>> and early diagnosis as you say, casey , she didn't see the signs as no one -- you wouldn't. you're young, you're healthy. never smoked. you're hoarse because you're shouting at the crew team . and by the time she was diagnosed, it really was too late to save her.
>> she pushed through as an athlete and continued to. you know, she pushed through to her very last month, went to ncaas the months before she passed ? away. it's definitely a character that she will instilled in all of us, as well.
>> thanks so much.
>> thank you.
>> casey and darby for the living legacy of jill costello. we will now hold her in our hearts, as well.
>> thank you for having us.