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Running the Half Marathon, for me, is a way to pay tribute to my loved ones who have faced lung disease. My mom, Sandi, and grandfather have died of lung disease. Such beautiful lives, gone too soon. My cousin Denise is currently battling lung disease.
My Mom Sandi, Team Sandi’s namesake, was born and raised in the city of Wilmington, struggled with lung disease most of her life, and in 2014 was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She died shortly after her diagnosis in January 2015, at the age of 71. Sandi sustained many other obstacles in her life such as being a domestic violence survivor and being a single parent in an age when women were commonly disenfranchised. Through her own adversities, she came to value the importance of family, friends, and service to others. One of her favorite sayings was, “This is not about me!” Her heart’s mission was in making sure others’ needs were met above of her own. Team Sandi stands for the values she upheld – resiliency, love, and service to others!
I pray for the day when advanced treatments and cures are there for all those who need them. That said, running the Half Marathon is also a way for me to bring awareness to lung disease and to engage others to join me by raising funds to help the American Lung Association further its mission. A worthy cause given the American Lung Association is the leader in helping save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. This is why I run. I hope you will join me in believing we can all make a difference!
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of both women and men in the United States, and approximately two-thirds of people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or are former smokers. In the past 42 years, new lung cancer cases have increased by 87 percent among women, while decreasing 35 percent among men. Each year, more lives are lost to lung cancer than any other cancer.
Register to fundraise today to honor your loved ones, while supporting the American Lung Association's mission to save lives by improving lung health and fighting lung disease!