Former Cornwall lung cancer educator dies

In this undated photo from Facebook, Elizabeth Dessureault holds her son Jack. Dessureault, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015, succumbed to the disease Saturday. She had been an upbeat educator through her ordeal to teach the public that anybody can get lung cancer. (Elizabeth Dessureault/Facebook via Newswatch Group)

OTTAWA – A former Cornwall woman who set out to educate thousands about the realities of lung cancer has succumbed to the disease.

Elizabeth Dessureault, also a former teacher, died Saturday at a hospital in Ottawa. She was 27.

Dessureault had been diagnosed with an advanced form of lung cancer in April 2015.

She didn’t smoke, lived in a non-smoking household, had no family predisposition to the disease, and was pregnant at the time.

With a doctor’s prognosis of a year to live, Dessureault set out to educate the public that seemingly low-risk people can get lung cancer. She spent nearly two years on that journey.

That included selling “Just Breathe” bracelets and handbags as well as blogging about her journey on the site “From Lizzy’s Lungs.

In August 2016, while undergoing chemo, she gave birth to her son, Jack, who was two months premature.

Dr. Paul Whatley-Price, president of Lung Cancer Canada and an oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center told the Ottawa Citizen they are “desperately sad” and that Lizzy left a huge impression on all the people she met.

A funeral will be held Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Knox St. Paul United Church in Cornwall.