UC San Diego SearchMenu

Mike Stevens

1960 - 2013

Mike Stevens

People get into a routine and can often forget how much fun life can be. My advice? We should all live our lives as if we were about to die. Take that vacation you have always wanted to go on. Call someone you have not talked to in years. Go sky diving. Do something that makes you happy and smile. Or, as I did, get involved.

Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens, an eight year survivor of lung cancer lost his battle in September of 2013. When Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 43, he decided to reevaluate his life. As a healthy, active, non-smoker with a wife and two children, nothing could have prepared him for the heart wrenching diagnosis. He sold his 23 year old La Jolla Photo and Imaging business in order to focus on his health, and shifted his priorities to make the most of the time he had left.  Family, friends and fun took precedence, and his lifelong commitment to service expanded.

Mike co-founded the San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk in 2009, passionate to unite the lung cancer community and heighten awareness of this deadly disease. Mike would often share that there was not greater reward than helping people find hope and encouragement. He found meaning and purpose when patients called and told him that he inspired them to live. Mike Stevens was loved by so many people and touched the lives of thousands with his courage and zest for life. 

Mike was a driving force in the lung cancer movement in California and across the country.  His “never say no” attitude contributed to the largest legislative victory in the history of lung cancer — the passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.  The Act requires the National Cancer Institute to develop plans to address the deadliest of cancers, those with a 5 year or less survival rate, with immediate attention given to lung and prostate cancers.  He also received a Survivor’s Hero Award for his invaluable contributions of hope and support, wisdom and advocacy to thousands of lung cancer patients and survivors.

Mike Stevens embodied the courage, drive and dedication that lives on through so many. His passion for raising lung cancer awareness and driving funding for cancer research and medical advancements continues through his legacy. Hopefully, one day, that legacy will help eradicate this deadly disease.