Two Lung Carcinoid Survivors Inspire and Lead the Way

Deirdre Durant finished folding the last of 1,000 origami cranes only days before surgery to remove her left lung.  She was seeking to fulfill the ancient Japanese legend that promises anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.

It took 12 years of wheezing, fatigue, flushing, a feeling of constantly being tired, stomach pain, and digestive issues before Deirdre would receive the diagnosis of carcinoid.

Origami cranes hanging in Deirdre Durant's home

Origami cranes hanging in Deirdre Durant’s home

In February of this year a persistent dry cough led to a lung X-ray, showing that Deirdre had pneumonia and “something else.”  Fortunately, her thoracic surgeon, Dr. Robert J. Kennan, System Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery, The West Penn Allegheny Health System, recognized that “something” as a carcinoid tumor and surgery was scheduled for February 24, 2011.Robert J. Keenan, MD

Unlike many who face surgery with trepidation, Deirdre looked forward to it as she was told she would no longer wheeze after the surgery – and she hasn’t. And less than 6 months after the surgery she is planning her first 5K race in August, a 10K in the fall, and hopes to complete a marathon in the year to come.