Great American Smokeout – A Quitter’s Story

Today is your day to put out your last cigarette, ever!  It is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

Whether you have already quit, want to quit or have tried and failed, we want today to be a day you celebrate a healthier lifestyle and a better you.’  It is no doubt, quitting smoking is hard and takes a lot of motivation.  One local man said his wife was his motivation.

Alan Hassa vividly remembers the day he met the love of his life.

"She walked by and I wanted to know who in the world that was," said Hassa.

It was not long after that, Alan and Jodie tied the knot.

"She was just an amazing individual, she taught me how to appreciate life, how to live everyday," said Hassa.

Jodie had Cystic Fibrosis.  A lung disease making it difficult to breathe.

"It affects everything inside of you," said Hassa.

As her health grew worse, Hassa realized breathing is a gift he had been taking for granted.

"I couldn’t stand the idea of her suffering and I’ve got the ability, the opportunity she wasn’t given and I’m throwing it away," said Hassa.

After more than 20 years of smoking cigarettes, Hassa smoked his last September 1 2012.     

"She was just proud of me, I hope she was proud of me," said Hassa.

Jodie lost her fight with Cystic Fibrosis September 18 of this year.

"She was on the double lung transplant list, she just didn’t make it," said Hassa.

Hassa is pushing on to share her story.

"I think she would want me to help the next person," said Hassa.

Through Jodie’s Journey he’s raising awareness for others with Cystic Fibrosis.

"No body should have to go through that, you shouldn’t have to fight to breathe. We are going to fight until a cure is found," said Hassa.

Hassa is hoping to make a difference in someone else’s life, like Jodie did for him.

Research shows smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support such as quit hotlines, stop-smoking groups and counseling.  There are also prescription medications that can help smokers quit.

For more information about the Great American Smokeout, click here.

For more information about Jodie’s Journey, click here.

For more information about Cystic Fibrosis, click here.

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