Survivor‘s Adam Klein‘s mother died from stage four lung cancer just two days after the show ended, according to reports. Now, six months later, the reality TV star is raising money in his mother’s name through the #LiveLikeSusie Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research.
“My mom was the epitome of health: never smoked, exercised every day, ate organically and consciously, and avoided toxic environments,” Klein wrote on the YouCaring Fundraising page. “Funding for lung cancer research is a fraction of other cancers (one tenth when you compare $/death to breast cancer for example), and it’s largely because of the implicit blame we place on lung cancer victims when we assume they did something to bring it upon themselves.”
Two days after the final Tribal Council for Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X, Klein got word that his mother, his “superfan” had passed.
Early on in the show, Klein explained his reasoning for doing the show, despite the fact that his mother had recently been diagnosed with a debilitating illness.
“It was really tough to make the decision to come out there,” he said. “My mom was diagnosed about seven months ago with stage four lung cancer. It’s such a devastating disease — it’s been such a nightmare. It’s been the worst thing you could possibly imagine. And so to have my biggest dreams coming true at the same time my worst nightmare is happening, it doesn’t feel real.”
He added, “My mom is a huge superfan. She’s the ultimate reason for being here. I want to give my mom something to look forward to. Being able to watch me find this—that’s what I came out here to do, bring some joy back to my family.”
Since her passing, Klein is hoping his mother’s story can touch others going through similar experiences.
“I can only hope her story will really resonate with people,” Klein said in an interview with the Stanford Daily. “Every single day my mom was alive, she lived life to the fullest. And I know she would want me to do the same. I want to use ‘Survivor’ as an opportunity to bring some meaning to my mom’s life and death and ultimately help other families not have to experience the type of pain my family has experienced.”