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Meet Maki Inada

Maki Inada
Maki Inada with daughter Mariko

Maki Inada teaches biology at Ithaca College and is an avid swimmer, biker, hiker, and runner.

After developing a bad cold and persistent cough, Maki visited the doctor, who investigated and found a seven-centimeter mass in her lung. Not believing that an active and otherwise healthy nonsmoker would have a tumor at age 35, her doctors sent her home with antibiotics. Her cough continued, and Maki was eventually diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.

After eight weeks on a targeted therapy with an enzyme inhibitor and four rounds of chemotherapy, her tumor was down to 0.5 centimeters. Maki was now a candidate for surgery and had an upper left lobectomy—and walked a mile the day after surgery!

“If it weren’t for the research of doctors… I don’t think I would still be here today,” says Maki.

Maki Inada’s story, and the stories of so many other patients, is a powerful reminder of the transformative power of research.

Thank you, Maki, for sharing your story!


The American Thoracic Society improves global health by advancing research, patient care, and public health in pulmonary disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders. Founded in 1905 to combat TB, the ATS has grown to tackle asthma, COPD, lung cancer, sepsis, acute respiratory distress, and sleep apnea, among other diseases.

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