Brad and Lana

By Brad Thacker

I was blessed with a beautiful, fun and kind sister, Lana. Although she was eight years older, we were very close. We lost my mother to breast cancer when I was in college and Lana took me under her wing and was always there.

In our adult years, although we lived many states apart, I saw Lana often. She would fly into Chicago with friends or my other sister, Susan, to attend and support my theater productions.  For many years, I have been performing and producing musical cabaret and theatrical productions and Lana was always my biggest fan.

In 2014, Lana was diagnosed with lung cancer and fought it with all her strength for two years. I was blessed to be able to care for her the last six months of her life. I moved from my home in Chicago to Denver, where Lana lived, and spent days in and out of the hospital. Chemo, radiation and emergency rooms became the norm. I tried to make every day special for her. Last year, we lost Lana.


During the last few months of Lana’s life, my dear friend Nan, an amazing Chicago singer and entertainer, would call to help with advice and emotional support. Nan lost her sister, Gerri, to lung cancer a few years earlier and helped guide me along this very difficult journey.

In honor of Lana and Gerri, Nan and I, along with a couple other talented friends, put our heads together to create a musical cabaret show featuring over 15 of Chicago’s finest singers and entertainers. The show is called “With Every Breath We Take” and will take place on May 7th in Chicago with a portion of proceeds going to Lung Cancer Alliance.

Our hope is to not only remember those we have lost, but also make a difference for those who are impacted by lung cancer right now.

To learn more about Brad’s upcoming event, click here.

It is now easier than ever to create your own lung cancer fundraiser in your community. Click here for details or email to get started!