Entertainment & Events

Free to Breathe 5k

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With any lung cancer patient, no diagnosis is the same, but with each and every case comes the many advances and successes in modern medicine, supplemented by the love and support of friends and family. Free To Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing lung cancer survival, believes in the power of those support systems and provides opportunities to exercise them, literally. Free to Breathe’s events across the country benefit lung cancer research and patient resources, all in efforts to ensure surviving lung cancer is the expectation, not the exception. The San Diego Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk will take place Sunday, August 6 at the Embarcadero Marina Park North where hundreds of locals will join forces to fight lung cancer with Free To Breathe.

Brooke Dorgan, a La Mesa resident, is participating in the San Diego Free to Breathe event in honor of her mom and grandma who both passed away from lung cancer. The stigma that her mom and grandmother experienced remains today, left for Brooke to face as she proactively confronts the possibility of developing the disease herself.

Jessica Evans, a Crown Point resident and now the volunteer event co-chair, is participating in honor of her boyfriend, a former Marine and non-smoker, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 and passed away just over a year later at the age of 31.

Joseph Hamilton, a Santee resident, is participating in honor of his mom, Margie, who passed away from lung cancer in 2008 at the age of 64. Ever since then he has been helping raise awareness about the disease and encouraging others to help fundraise for research. Joseph helped bring the Free to Breathe event to San Diego for the first time in 2012, and has since remained one of the biggest fundraisers with a total of more than $4,000 raised in honor of his mother.

Barry Davis, a Chula Vista resident and also the volunteer event co-chair, is participating because he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007 as a non-smoker and given 18 months to live. Now, 10 years later he is going great and working to help raise awareness and funds for the disease to give more patients like him a fighting chance.

Alongside these locals are the hundreds of San Diegans committed to fighting lung cancer with Free to Breathe. Last year, community members, teams, and companies across the region supported the San Diego Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk by raising $53,000. Event chairs hope to surpass that total in 2017, which will go a long way in supporting programs specifically designed to ensure that more patients become survivors. Every dollar counts to the more than 224,000 people diagnosed in the U.S with lung cancer each year. In California alone, an estimated 18,270 residents will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.

“By fundraising and joining us on event day, you are bringing hope to those affected by the disease and their families,” said Barry Davis. “Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined, yet these three cancers receive more research funding. More treatment options are needed, and the innovative research we’re funding through the fundraising efforts of our community can help ensure everyone diagnosed with the disease has a fighting chance.”

The Free to Breathe events community has raised over $16 million to support groundbreaking research and educational programs since 2005. Free to Breathe’s nationwide events encourage community involvement through runs, walks and yoga instructions, aligned with the organization’s dedication to healthcare. Funds raised support Free to Breathe’s mission by providing life-saving lung cancer research and increasing access to clinical trials while building and empowering the lung cancer community.  

This year’s San Diego event will include a Survivors Area, kids’ activities including face painting and coloring, music from a local DJ, plenty of refreshments and fun for the whole family. Special recognition and rewards will be given to top finishers and fundraisers. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the fun activities after the run/walk and enjoy an inspiring day focused on supporting and ensuring lung cancer survival.  

You can support Free to Breathe by simply gathering your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers to form a team and start to fundraising. To learn more about Free to Breathe or register and begin fundraising, visit  www.freetobreathe.org/sandiego .

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