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R.I.P: Spokesperson for Anti Smoking Campain, Terri Hall Dies of Cancer

Terri Hall

R.I.P: Spokesperson for Anti Smoking Campain, Terri Hall Dies of Cancer

Terrie Hall died Monday of cancer at a hospital in Winston-Salem. She was 53.

In January 2001, at the age of 40, she was diagnosed with oral cancer. She recalled, “I had a sore in my mouth and had to go through all these grueling radiation treatments. It was awful.”  Hall even continued to smoke throughout her radiation treatments. “I didn’t think I had to quit. The radiation was getting rid of the cancer, so I could still smoke,” she states. But it wasn’t until later that month that she was diagnosed with throat cancer, and laryngectomy. She states “It’s hard to wrap your mind around cancer, and when they told me that they were going to remove my voice box, I thought I would never speak again.”

Federal health officials are mourning the death of a North Carolina woman featured prominently in a graphic government ad campaign to get people to stop smoking.

‘She was a public health hero,’ said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the campaign. ‘She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do.’

She had been a survivor of ten cancer diagnoses, has under-gone 48 radiation treatments, and nearly a year’s worth of chemotherapy, before and after undergoing a laryngectomy in 2001.  She was well known for starring in one of the ads of CDC’s smoking ad campaign, as well as traveling to middle and high schools around her residing state to educate about smoking, tobacco and awareness.  A diseased former smoker whose voice box was removed years ago, Hall took a leading role in the campaign that showed how smoking-related cancer ravages the body.

Hall’s cigarette smoking would also cause her daughter to be a smoker, who quit in January 2012 during her second pregnancy.   Hall’s grandchildren would be born premature. “I can’t help but think it was because of my cigarette smoking,” she said. “My fear now is that I won’t be around to see my grandchildren graduate or get married.”

Officials believe the campaign led as many as 100,000 Americans smokers to quit.  And my son was on of those that she moved so much that he stopped smoking.  Luckily he only did it for a few months.  Well that I know of.  He may have been sneaking way before that, but I digress.

Hall’s cancer was caused by the cigarette smoking she began in high school, CDC officials said. This summer the cancer spread to her brain, and radiation and surgery failed to save her.

She is survived by one daughter Dana and two grandchildren.

R.I.P Ms. Terri

 

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