WASHINGTON (September18, 2012) – Hundreds of people whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer will gather in Oriole Park at Camden Yards for LUNGevity Foundation’s Breathe Deep Baltimore 5K Walk/Fun Run Saturday, September 22, 2012. The only event of its kind to take place inside the Baltimore Orioles’ home ballpark, check-in begins at 9 a.m.; the program, 10 a.m.; and the walk/run, 10:10 am– rain or shine. LUNGevity, the nation’s largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit, hosts the event to raise awareness and funds for earlier detection and more effective treatments of lung cancer.
Fun activities for kids, a video game theatre, prizes and free refreshments, and more will be available for participants to enjoy. Retired Baltimore Orioles catcher (1989-1998) and Baltimore Orioles Hall of FamerChris Hoiles is participating in the day’s festivities. The walk will take place on the field, with many pre-event activities, on the ballpark’s concourse level. The day will include a silent auction and raffle. Starting at noon, the ballpark will offer a 30-minute tour of Camden Yards for up to 50 participants for $5.00 per person.
Listed below are community member participants who are available for interviews both in advance of the event, and on-site, to share their personal experiences with lung cancer.
- Breathe Deep Baltimore Founder Cindy Malloy, of Pylesville, Md., founded the walk in 2008 in memory of her beloved mother Betsy Hamer. Diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2003, Betsy lost her courageous battle on February 25, 2007. After her death, Cindy decided to take action and make a difference for all those affected by lung cancer. This will be the 5th year of the event and its first year in Baltimore.
- Ellicott City, Md. resident and Breathe Deep Baltimore special guest/featured speaker Monica Barlow, 35 years old, is the director of public relations for the Baltimore Orioles. Monica is a non-smoker, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2009 while training for a half marathon. Monica feels LUNGevity’s funding of research is critical to the survival of lung cancer patients.
- Dr. Charles Rudin, Professor and co-Director, the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine, LUNGevity Scientific Advisory Board Member, will participate in the walk to help raise awareness and funds for the disease. “Every week I see patients with this disease. Every week patients suffer relapses. I have watched too many lung cancer patients die. I am trying to change the outcome for patients with this disease.”
- Annemarie Coughlin, Ellicott City, Md., part of the event committee, will be walking in honor of her father, whose lung cancer diagnosis at the age of 46 left him disabled and unable to work; her boyfriend, who passed away from lung cancer six weeks after being diagnosed; and her first cousin who also died of the disease at age 56.
- Brett Roberts, 16, Towson, Md. resident, will walk on the “LungStrong” team in memory of his mother Jennifer Brock, a never-smoker who passed away from lung cancer in 2010. Jennifer participated in the event while she was still alive, naming her team “LungStrong.” Roberts has joined the walk nearly every year to honor his mother, who was six months pregnant when her lung cancer was diagnosed.
- The Bennaman family lost a daughter and a sister, Amy, to lung cancer. A never smoker who lived an active, healthy lifestyle, she was diagnosed with the disease when she was 32. She left behind a loving family, including a 4-year-old daughter, Grace, and a husband, Rich. While she was alive, Amy participated in the 2010 Breathe Deep Baltimore walk, and her family is participating this year to honor her memory and raise awareness and funds for the disease.
The Breathe Deep walks and runs are LUNGevity’s nationwide signature events, launched by the Foundation to raise public awareness and critical funds needed for lung cancer research. Through LUNGevity’s expansive grassroots network, communities, celebrities, corporate executives and elected officials across the country are coming together to stand up to the nation’s number one cancer killer. LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep events offer a place for those impacted by the disease to share, hope and heal.
Lung cancer takes more lives annually than breast, prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers combined. In fact, with one in 14 Americans diagnosed in his or her lifetime, the number of people who die from lung cancer is equal to having a jumbo jet fall from the sky every single day. More than half the people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or have already quit smoking. There is no widely available and cost effective early diagnostic test, and only 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive five or more years post-diagnosis.
LUNGevity Foundation has the largest grants award program for lung cancer research among lung cancer nonprofit organizations in the United States. In the past two years alone, LUNGevity has awarded over $5 million to the most promising lung cancer research projects. In addition to funding research, the Foundation has a robust national grassroots network, with events happening across the country. The organization also has the largest online support community for lung cancer patients and their loved ones.