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Kerri Robbins

Kerri Robbins - Community advocate and radon-induced lung cancer survivor

Kerri's story

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My name is Kerri Robbins, and I live in Lehi, Utah. We moved here about six years ago, and I have worked from my home full-time until I retired last year because of my cancer diagnosis. So I woke up on a Friday morning, June of 2022, got on my treadmill. I'd only been on the treadmill about 20 minutes when I started coughing. Next thing we know, here's the paramedics in our house. By the time they got the MRI results back from my brain, he goes, I'm going to send you to an oncologist. And when he said the word oncologist, I realized he meant cancer.

And the oncologist tells me that I have stage 4 non-smoking lung cancer, and you could have just knocked me over with a feather. I just... What do you mean stage 4? Stage 4 means somebody is on their deathbed.

When Kerry was first diagnosed with nonsmoking lung cancer, it was pretty scary. How's it going to affect the kids? How's it going to affect the grandkids?

The oncologist had said the word radon to me, but it didn't even register. I didn't know what radon was. So if I didn't know what it was, it must not have anything to do with me. He goes, have you had your home tested for radon? And I said, ‘didn't know I needed to.’ We got a hold of Utah Radon Services, got a short-term test, did that, and the results came back that our level was 31.3, which was like I was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. I was so mad. I was so mad. 

Now, at this point, I know that one in three homes in Utah has high radon levels. Why had I not known about this? How come somebody hadn't told me about radon? So as far as being able to figure out whether your home is safe or not, the test from Utah Radon Services is free. It is very, very simple to test. We got the results back in about a week, and immediately we knew that we needed to have something done. Because with our levels at 31.3, like I was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, we needed to take action right away.

So when we had our mitigation, and then we did another short term test that showed that our levels were 1.0, oh my gosh, what a difference. What a difference that was.It was a relatively easy installation. Within 2 hours, we went from 31.3 picocuries down to less than 1.0.

And the peace and the sense of security and the safety that that gives me of knowing that my home is safe and I can now be in my home freely and sleep and not have to worry about it at all.

I love my home.Then to find out that it was my home that gave me cancer, that was really hard. That was really hard.

I would have never, ever dreamed that this could happen to me. I didn't know anything about radon. But let me tell you, it's very real. It not only affects you, it affects your spouse, it affects your children, it affects everything you do.

-- Kerri Robbins - Community advocate and radon-induced lung cancer survivor

(For more information on Radon visit the EPA.)

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