A common misconception is that the majority of lung cancer patients are smokers; in reality that is not the case.
What is a reality is that lung cancer patients currently have, on average, a 5-year survival rate, a figure considerably lower than other cancer treatments.
As with most cancers, early detection and treatment are paramount to increased survival rates.
In support of lung cancer research and treatment, a fundraising 5k walk/run and one-mile walk event will be held June 22 in Indianapolis. The event will be followed by an informative rally, silent auction and a “tot trot.”
Amber Back of Lebanon and Brandi Appleget of Indianapolis are two major forces behind the initial Indianapolis event.
In recent years, both Appleget and Back lost family members to lung cancer and were shocked to find that although many cancer treatment options were being studied, researched and funded, lung cancer was not among them. With that in mind, Appleget and Back made the decision to get involved and begin a lung cancer fundraising effort, a process that has taken two years leading up to this month’s walk/run.
“We are hoping this will become an annual event and one that can raise awareness about lung cancer and displace many of the myths surrounding it,” Appleget said during a recent phone interview.
She continued by saying no one deserves to suffer from cancer, adding that there is a huge stigma attached to lung cancer that the majority of lung cancer patients are smokers and they brought their health issues on themselves.
The Indianapolis native said that the goal is to grow the event and to reach out to all Hoosiers and stress the importance of advance screening and treatment as a means to beat lung and all cancers.
Back echoed those thoughts by saying that the “Free to Breath” event serves as a means to unite individuals who are passionate about creating increased public awareness of lung cancer and raising vital funding for research.
The first Free to Breath 5K event was held during 2006 in Philadelphia and since has generated $8 million with 100 percent of monies raised directly funding programs to help those effected by lung cancer.
Annually, lung cancer claims more than 160,000 American lives, a figure that Back said can’t continue.
This year’s event will be held in Fort Harrison State Park.
For additional information, to register for this year’s event or to make an online donation visit www.freetobreath.org/indianapolis.