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Young Mother With Lung Cancer Raising Funds for Research

By Kathy Walsh

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - A young mother of two is determined to raise money for lung cancer research. Emily Daniels is coming together for cancer patients after being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer while pregnant in her 30s.

(credit: Daniels family)

Emily never smoked. Now, she and her husband, Brian, are doing what they can to help develop better treatments for lung cancer and find a cure.

The start of 2018 was full of promise for the Daniels and their adorable daughter, Paige.

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CBS4's Kathy Walsh interviews Emily and Brian Daniels. (credit: CBS)

"Life was great," said Brian. "... great job, great wife."

But in February, 33 weeks pregnant and vacationing in Hawaii, Emily had chest pain.

"It just felt tight and hard to take a deep breath," she told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

It was lung cancer and a shock for the healthy 32-year-old who never smoked.

"There's nothing we can point to. Nothing we can say that this is the reason," said Emily.

"It floored you," said Brian.

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(credit: Daniels family)

Emily delivered a baby boy, Brady, at 35 weeks. A new scan showed the cancer was also in her bones and lymph nodes.

"It took a couple weeks to look at each other and say, 'You know, we're not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves and keep asking why,'" said Brian.

"You know I want to do something meaningful. I want to make a difference," said Emily.

So the Daniels talk about Emily's lung cancer. They're raising awareness and they're raising money to fund research.

"I believe that we're going to see a cure in my lifetime," said Emily.

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(credit: CBS)

Now, she is on a targeted therapy of six pills a day.

"I believe that I'll be here to watch my kids reach milestones, and I'll get to babysit their kids someday," said the young mother.

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(credit: CBS)

Emily thrives on a healthy dose of hope. She is being treated by oncologist Dr. Ross Camidge, Director of Thoracic Oncology at University of Colorado Hospital.

Emily and Brian are holding a fundraiser on Thursday at all Atomic Cowboy locations in Colorado. Forty percent of proceeds will be donated to the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund, part of the University of Colorado Foundation.

The Daniels are also holding a golf tournament on September 26 at Arrowhead Golf Course. It's sold out, but you can still make a donation.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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