Young mother diagnosed with lung cancer attributed to radon urging all families to test their homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Young mother diagnosed with lung cancer attributed to radon, and The Lung Association launching new initiative urging all families to test their homes after new research shows Saskatchewan and Alberta are the second highest radon-exposed populations on the planet.

 

Saskatoon, SK - Kerri Tucker, a young mother of three and Saskatoon realtor developed a cough that just wouldn’t go away.  After several of visits to the doctor and a series of tests, Kerri was diagnosed with lung cancer. “I was shocked to find out I had lung cancer because I have never smoked a day in my life,” explains Tucker. Her doctors attribute her diagnosis to radon exposure. “Lung cancer from radon happened to me and can happen to you too, but it’s completely preventable,” says Kerri.  Since her diagnosis, she has become a Lung Association Radon Ambassador launching the #MyRadonStory initiative to share her story and spread the simple message “Protect your family. Test your home for radon.”

Radon is a gas formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in all soil and rock.  As radon breaks down, it forms radioactive particles that can get lodged into your lung tissue as you breathe creating the risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. You can’t see, taste or smell radon.  The only way to know how much in your home is to test for it with a long-term radon test kit. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is a major contributor to a recent national study which found that 1 in 3 homes in Saskatchewan have dangerous amounts of radon.  The city of Regina had the highest radon levels with 50% of all homes testing higher than Health Canada’s radon action guideline of 200 Bq/m3.

Like Kerri, The Lung Association strongly encourages all families to take action on this deadly gas. “There is no safe level of radon, however the risk of radon exposure that residents living in the prairie provinces face is alarming and very concerning,” says Jill Hubick, RN and Manager of Patient and Community Engagement with The Lung Association, Saskatchewan. 

This past fall at a MLA reception hosted by The Lung Association, The Honorable Jim Reiter, Minister of Health declared November as Radon Action Month.  “Having radon champions amongst our provincial leader’s like Minister Reiter and Kerri in our community is powerful.  Both have had a positive impact on lung health by increasing the public’s awareness about radon and its negative health effects,” says Hubick. To further increase awareness about radon, The Lung Association is launching #MyRadonStory featuring Kerri Tucker and her Radon story. The goal of the campaign is to educate the public about radon, encourage people to share their radon stories and to provide all residents an accessible website where they can purchase a long-term radon test kit that is approved by Health Canada and analyzed by a local Canadian Accredited lab, The Saskatchewan Research Council.

All media outlets are invited to attend the #MyRadonStory launch event at The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors Office, 1705 McKercher Dr. Saskatoon on Tuesday February 11, 2020 at 10 am.  The Lung Association and Kerri Tucker will be available for interviews.

Protect Your Family.  Test your home for radon.  ​www.MyRadonStory.ca

About The Lung Association

The Lung Association is the leading organization in Canada working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease. This is done by funding vital research and pushing for innovative ways to help people manage their health. The Lung Association, Saskatchewan’s role is to improve respiratory health and the overall quality of life through programs, education, research, training, treatment and prevention of lung disease.

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For more information:

Jill Hubick, RN, Manager of Community and Patient Engagement,
306-667-3017 | Jill.Hubick@sk.lung.ca

Jennifer May, VP of Community Engagement,
306-667-3005 | Jennifer.May@sk.lung.ca

Page Last Updated: 11/03/2020