Local residents are fueling the national movement to double lung cancer survival at the fourth annual Free to Breathe Morris County Walk Sep. 22 at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna. The inspirational event, organized by Morris County resident and 10-year lung cancer survivor Jim Dennison and his committee of volunteers, will feature a 3.5-mile walk, followed by awards for top fundraisers, food, door prizes and fun for the whole family. Proceeds from the event support the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s programs dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival, a disease that claims more lives in New Jersey than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined, by 2022.
The Free to Breathe Morris County Walk is the only Walk in New Jersey that raises funds to advocate for lung cancer patients and their families, educate the public about the leading cancer killer of American men and women, as well as fund vital lung cancer research programs. Lung cancer’s five-year survival rate is only 16 percent, much lower than that of many other cancers. This event is a true grassroots effort, supported by volunteers who are inspired to champion the lung cancer cause because of personal experience.
“I lost my mom to lung cancer in October 2009. She fought this devastating disease for nearly four years. After she was diagnosed I learned that lung cancer, while it’s the number one cancer killer, gets significantly less research funding (and public attention) than other cancers,” said Kimberly Elmore, Jefferson resident and Free to Breathe volunteer. “I feel something needs to be done about this, so I decided to form a team in my mom’s memory to help raise much needed funds so that more lives can be saved and more attention can be drawn to this cause.”
Through community efforts like Free to Breathe, the Partnership funds groundbreaking research necessary for making the dramatic breakthroughs in early detection and treatment that can save lives. In support of Free to Breathe Morris County 2012, community members, teams and local businesses championed the cause by raising more than $42,000 to help patients and families affected by lung cancer.
This year, Free to Breathe events across the country will raise funds and unite lung cancer survivors, families and friends. Anyone interested can register for an event, donate online or start a personal fundraising page at www.freetobreathe.org.
Those who can’t participate in Free to Breathe Morris County can participate in the National Walk Week Nov. 2 – 9. The walk provides a way for everyone to join the movement. Supporters make this walk their own by gathering friends, family and co-workers to walk when and where they choose.