A Local Man With Lung Cancer To Climb Steps At Truist Field To Fund Life-Saving Research

FORT MILL, SC. — Mike Smith has a beautiful family, a great job, but he’s been battling cancer for the past five years. It all started in the summer of 2016. While working in his backyard, Mike had what he thought was an asthma attack. He used his inhaler, but it didn’t help. He knew something was wrong but brushed it off.

“I woke up feeling like I was having a heart attack. Like an elephant was standing on your chest, type of feeling and stuff like that. That’s why I knew something is going wrong,” says Smith.

He went to the doctor, and after more than three weeks of testing, he finally got the results.

“And said I’ve been going over this with radiologists and technicians, and this looks like cancer.”

Stage 4 lung cancer. Smith says it’s a confusing diagnosis because he never smoked.

“I think the hardest thing I ever had to do, not just with my wife being told with me but seeing the reaction from my kids. They could see what’s going on, they didn’t necessarily understand at all right away, but all of them were crying.”

Smith underwent radiation, had a brain tumor removed, and has had three targeted therapies to treat his lung cancer. Even in treatment, he still works full time and goes to the gym five days a week. In March, he will take part in the Fight For Air Climb to raise awareness for lung cancer and research funding. He says to pay it forward.

“These research efforts help, these outreach efforts help the patients and patients need to advocate for themselves, and they need to advocate not just for themselves, but for others. Because that’s how hopefully, we get better treatment options and someday, maybe a cure.”

Smith adds the company he works for, Bank of America, has been fantastic throughout this process, allowing him to work from home since the diagnosis.

American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb will happen on March 27th.