Remembering John Atkinson

Early last year, we asked folks reading this site to rally around lung cancer survivor John Atkinson, who had entered a contest sponsored by Golf Digest to play in a celebrity foursome at the US Open Golf Tournament. John won that contest, and last June he joined celebrities Matt Lauer of The Today Show, entertainer Justin Timberlake, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on the links. We are sad to announce today that yesteray Atkinson lost his battle with lung cancer, and passed away at age 40.

John’s story touched a lot of people, and did so much to help raise awareness about lung cancer, which is the leading cancer killer. His strength and determination to fight this disease, and his evident love for his family, his friends, and life itself, touched so many people.

While mesothelioma is not usually considered traditional “lung cancer,” as it most often affects the lining of the lungs but can also affect the lining of the stomach or, more rarely, the heart, we still rally around the lung cancer community in its call for more research, more funding and more awareness. Today, we join the Lung Cancer Alliance in remembering this remarkable man who, as he fought his own personal battle, also dedicated himself to fighting the stigma of lung cancer, and fighting for a cure.

This morning Matt Lauer presented a tribute to John Atkinson on The Today Show. Take a moment to watch this short video tribute to a remarkable man. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

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