Phoebe Lynn Lewis was a beloved wife and mother, and supportive grandmother to four cherished grandchildren. Mrs. Lewis was taken too soon following her courageous battle with lung cancer in 2015, having been diagnosed only four months prior. Her family has now taken up arms against the disease that claimed her, and shown their appreciation to NYU Winthrop for the compassionate, dedicated care given to Mrs. Lewis.
Phoebe Lynn Lewis, pictured with her husband, Dr. Robert Lewis, and their four grandchildren, Mrs. Lewis's family created a Foundation in her memory to increase lung cancer awareness.
"The care that Phoebe received at NYU Winthrop"s Lung Cancer Center will never be forgotten, and we want to help someone detect lung cancer early; stop young people from smoking before they start; and hopefully save lives in her honor," said Dr. Robert Lewis, Mrs. Lewis’s husband of 49 years.
The goals of the Phoebe Lynn Lewis Foundation are to increase lung cancer awareness, educate people about the importance of screening, and to remove the stigma that can be associated with the disease. The Foundation also aims to assist individuals with smoking cessation and prevention, and help patients in need of home healthcare who can't afford the medical items they need.
Funds raised by the Phoebe Lynn Lewis Foundation recently supported Lung Cancer Awareness Day at NYU Winthrop, as well as a Simulation Presentation at NYU Winthrop to educate physicians on the importance of low-dose CT lung cancer screening and criteria for the exam. The Foundation has also helped patients in need who were being treated by NYU Winthrop’s Home Health Agency.
"We established this fund in gratitude to the individuals at NYU Winthrop who assisted my mother and family during a difficult time," said Michelle Salzman, her daughter. "My mother was a very special woman, and we wanted to honor her name and help others."
Jeffrey Schneider, MD, FACP, Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program and Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at NYU Winthrop, was a part of the team to treat Mrs. Lewis. Her daughters, Michelle and Deborah, credit Dr. Schneider as the inspiration to start the Foundation, because of his commitment to fighting and preventing lung cancer.
"NYU Winthrop was an early adopter of a screening program that uses low-dose CT scans to identify lung cancer in its earliest stages when treatments can be curative," said Dr. Schneider. "We are so grateful to this wonderful family for their work and support of this important cause."
"This disease took my family by complete surprise. Just as we have checkups each year, people who are at high risk for lung cancer should get regular screenings. This could have saved my mother's life," said Deborah Kern, Mrs. Lewis's daughter.
As a tribute to their grandmother, Adam and Allie Salzman, along with Spencer and Andrew Kern, helped develop the Foundation's website, and will each work with their schools to raise lung cancer awareness. The Foundation will next sponsor a Lung Cancer Awareness week in early May, along with Schreiber High School in Port Washington and NYU Winthrop, to raise awareness about lung cancer screening and the perils of smoking.
For more information about the Phoebe Lynn Lewis Foundation, visit https://screenforlungcancernow.com/. For more information about NYU Winthrop's Lung Cancer Center, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.