Anti-smoking crusader fights spreading cancer

Anti-smoking crusader given two weeks to live

Doctors have told Barb Tarbox, a cancer victim who has spent the past six months spreading her anti-smoking message to students across the country, that she may have just two weeks to live.

Tarbox, 41, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last September. She has smoked all her life.

Over the past six months, Tarbox has spoken to about 50,000 teenagers across the country about the deadly habit.

During a speech to students at Lower Canada College in Montreal last week, Tarbox became disoriented, said her spokesperson Donna Gingera.


When she returned to Edmonton, doctors confirmed cancerous tumours have spread into her skull and through her bones.

Her travelling companion Tracey Mueller said Tarbox was suffering from strong headaches, blurred vision and loud noises in her head. Doctors say the symptoms indicate the tumours are squeezing parts of her brain.

Gingera said Tarbox will start another round of radiation treatment Monday.

"She is in incredible pain right now, she needs her rest and she knows the next round of radiation is not going to be easy on her," said Gingera. "But she says that she's not been discouraged by this."

Gingera says Tarbox is committed to helping students quit smoking and wants to return to her schedule as soon as possible.

"Barb has such a strong fighting spirit," Gingera said. "She was saying today: 'I'm not going to let this get me down. I'm going into this with a positive attitude.'"