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Losing Mom to Lung Cancer: CBS Survivor Season 33 winner Adam Klein Tells All

After spending 39 days on the island of Fiji competing to win Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X in 2016, victor Adam Klein returned home to be with his mother, Susie, who had been battling lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer in the U.S. Sadly, just one hour after his return home and a short nine months after her diagnosis, his mother lost her battle to lung cancer, despite being a never-smoker and living a completely healthy lifestyle.

Adam has since become an advocate to raise awareness and fight for increased funding for lung cancer research. He has raised over $400,000 for research including a personal donation of $100,000 from his Survivor winnings. He has joined the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative to inspire others to #LiveLikeSusie and raise awareness and funding for this underfunded and misunderstood disease.

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women and men in the U.S and anyone can get lung cancer. Early detection and treatment of lung cancer translates to higher survival rates. Awareness of lung cancer and lung cancer screening options are critical for early detection, and helping people lead tobacco-free lives are all key to making a difference against this deadly disease.



  • Every 8 minutes, a woman loses her battle with lung cancer
  • Only 18% of lung cancer cases among women are diagnosed early, when the disease is most treatable. Survival rates are five times higher when lung cancer is detected early.
  • Awareness of lung cancer and lung cancer screening options for those at high risk is critical for early detection.
  • Awareness is critically low – 98% of women don’t have lung cancer on their health radar.
  • While anyone can get lung cancer, smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer, along with radon, air pollution and second-hand smoke exposure.


Adam Klein joined me to share his personal story to help raise awareness about the prevalence of lung cancer in women. Joining him was CVS Health’s Papatya Tankut to let people know what they can do to act to safeguard their health.


Take a look above, and to help Adam in his quest to raise money for lung cancer research, click here. 

Additionally, as the National Presenting Sponsor of the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, CVS Health is helping communities go tobacco-free to beat lung cancer. From May 7 – 27, customers can stop by any CVS Pharmacy location to donate $1, $3 or more to LUNG FORCE and raise critical funds for lung cancer awareness, research and prevention, and learn about the ways they can help their community go tobacco-free. Visit: lung.org/cvs to learn more.

Losing Mom to Lung Cancer

Meet Our Guest:

Adam Klein is best known for competing on the reality show Survivor. He was voted the winner of the show’s 33rd season, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X in 2016. Klein lives in California.


Papatya Tankut, R.Ph. is Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs for CVS Health. Tankut is responsible for engaging with non-profit and health-based organizations to improve and enhance pharmacy care. Tankut began her career as a pharmacist at CVS Pharmacy in 1994, supporting patients and caregivers through quality assurance and patient safety. Tobacco is the leading cause of lung cancer and in 2014 CVS Health became the first national retail pharmacy chain to stop selling tobacco products. As the National Presenting Sponsor of the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, CVS Health is committed to creating tobacco-free communities to help beat lung cancer. 

Losing Mom to Lung Cancer

Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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