Hank's Story

Lung Cancer

My name is Henry Wachter. Since I was probably 60, I was thinking that I was in a high-risk group for lung cancer. My dad had passed away from lung cancer. My sister had passed away from lung cancer. I was a smoker for 30 years in my youth, and in January of 2011 I had a CT scan done and within two weeks I knew that I had lung cancer.

I guess, the first thing I would tell everybody is, if you're in a high-risk group, get tested. Doesn't matter whether it's covered by insurance or not, do it. And secondly, when you choose provider, the people that are gonna treat you, I mean, it really is a life or death decision. I did choose to have radiation therapy done here at Winship. They have all the tools, all the resources and all the facets of the science that's necessary to be good at this stuff. They have the ... They have a huge research program going on, of course, they're a teaching college, and lots, and lots and lots of patients have gone through here.

But from the first day, first time I saw Dr. Ramalingam, I mean, he was so optimistic and upbeat and it was like, "In five years, you're gonna be cured." And at the time, I thought, in two years I was gonna die. So slowly but surely he convinced me that he was right. And turns out, he was.