LUNGe Forward 2017

Hey there! I am still alive, even if you have seen neither hide nor hair of me in many, many months. Turns out free time is a fond and distant memory and updating the blog is one of many things to fall by the wayside since Itty Bitty joined the family. I do have every intention of doing a giant update sometime soon, but we all know that “sometime soon” may actually translate out to “in a few weeks.” Better late than never though, right?

I did want to get a quick update out there about the 2017 LUNGe Forward that I did with LB and BIT this past weekend. 🙂 I totally dropped the ball this year and did absolutely nothing in terms of fundraising or team recruitment and I feel very guilty about it. Somehow, I ended up being the team captain for my company’s AHA HeartWalk team and that has taken up a lot of my spare time over the last two months and, unfortunately, my LUNGe Forward participation suffered. But next year, oh next year is going to be a big year, I promise! It’ll be the 5th anniversary of doing the run in honor of Mom and I have every intention of making it huge.

This was the second year since they moved the run to September from November and it was so hot!!! And the course was really hilly. And I had the two big girls in the double stroller. And they had a free beer tent. (Which wasn’t crowded at all! What is wrong with these people that they didn’t want free beer?!?!) All of which is to say that I was not nearly as fast as I would have liked, finishing the course in about 40 minutes. But I finished!

This is a link to my participant site: http://RaleighLUNGeForward.kintera.org/2017/kristenw It’s not too late to make a donation if anyone is so inclined, though no worries if you can’t this year. I’ll be hitting all of you up next year for the big anniversary run.

Anyway, here are some pics from the day. The girls and I had a great time running for their Grammy in heaven. 🙂

 

Kicking Lung Cancer’s Butt

Today is the Lung Cancer Initiative’s annual LUNGe Forward 5K, held to raise funds and awareness to kick lung cancer’s butt. It’s my fourth year participating and my second time doing it pregnant, though I was only 9 weeks last time I ran it pregnant as opposed to nearly 37 weeks this time. (It probably goes without saying that I won’t be running it this time so much as waddling it. Slowly.)

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I don’t look that pregnant, right?

I’ve been so busy and tired lately that I haven’t really done a very good job attempting to raise awareness regarding the fight against lung cancer, something of which I am slightly ashamed. Lung cancer (or any cancer, for that matter) doesn’t take a break, so I shouldn’t either.

Here are some cold hard facts about lung cancer:

fact sheet-page-001

From The ASCO Post’s article “Will Funding for Lung Cancer Ever Improve?” :

  • Data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Defense (DoD), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that the amount of money spent per death from cancer for the fiscal year 2012 was $17,835 for breast cancer, compared to $1,378 for lung cancer. This represents a greater than 10-fold increased spending per breast cancer death compared to each lung cancer death. A look at the total funding for these malignancies is just as alarming. Between 2008 and 2010, the NCI spent $1,803.3 million on breast cancer research compared to $776.4 million on lung cancer research.

The discrepancy in survival rates for lung cancer versus other cancers, particularly breast, is ridiculous. The paucity of funding available for lung cancer research is appalling. And the fact that there is still a stigma surrounding lung cancer is absurd. Lung cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or previous smoke exposure.

I know this is short notice, but if you would like to join me in the fight against lung cancer, here is a link to my donation page:

http://RaleighLUNGeForward.kintera.org/2016/kristenw.
Any funds that you donate are used responsibly to assist in the fight, I swear. The Lung Cancer Initiative does a great job of making sure that your donations go back to the people that need them, with 88¢ of each dollar donated going back to the community in the form of various programs. Here is a link to the LCI page detailing just what, exactly they are doing with your money.

It looks like it’s going to rain again, for the third year in a row. But like I told some of my coworkers who are coming to the race with me, “Cancer doesn’t stop for the rain so neither will we.” I’ll post some pics from race day later (or tomorrow…) so you guys can all see the amazing turn out we have here in North Carolina to fight the number one cancer killer in the world. Thank you in advance for your support!

Update: Here are some pictures from the race today. The rain held off, which was a nice change from the last few years. I’m always amazed at the wonderful turn out this event gets, that so many people in the area are committed to fighting lung cancer.

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Rocking the compression socks and my team t-shirt

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Second year dragging my bestie along with me

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That’s an inspiring sight to me

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Post race with some of my coworkers

 

Taking a stand against Lung Cancer

We did it! Despite rain that could best be described as torrential at times, the Littlest Brewster and I took a stand against lung cancer today.

We were joined by Kristen, one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, two of her adorable boys, and an awful lot of very wet people. Seriously – the turn out was amazing, despite the weather. I tried to include some pictures of the crowd so you can see the incredible people who came today to join in the fight against lung cancer.

I had some of my patients and coworkers fill out “In Memory Of” and “In Honor Of” placards to hang on the stroller in addition to the one for my mom. The stroller was pretty awesome, even if the signs turned into runny, pulpy messes within a few minutes. I carried them all in my heart, paper or no.

On a totally inspirational note, there was a woman in a teal survivor’s shirt who had to be 70 if she was a day – and she kicked our asses. Ran the whole way. It was incredible to see how many teal survivor shirts were there. And with your support, every year there can be more.

And one day, we will kick lung cancer’s ass and we will ALL be free to breathe.

Tomorrow’s the day!

The day of the LUNGe Forward 5K for Lung Cancer Awareness!!!!

There is still time to donate and support this incredibly worthy cause. (You can actually donate up until the end of the year, but seize the day! Stomp the monster!)

I’ve included a handy dandy fact sheet from the Lung Cancer Initiative (link to original here) so you can share some information on this devastating disease and correct some misapprehensions. For instance, did you know that nearly 20% of all new lung cancer cases are diagnosed in people who NEVER smoked? That’s right; lung cancer isn’t something that people “brought on themselves” or “deserve.” No one deserves cancer. NO ONE.

So please, please please, donate to lung cancer research, share the facts about lung cancer, and help us find a cure!

fact sheet-page-001And stay tuned tomorrow for pics of me at the run! 🙂 I can’t wait!!!

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again! Time for my annual appeal on behalf of lung cancer awareness, in memory of my mom and all of the other hundreds of thousands of people who are battling this under-funded, under-publicized, overly deadly disease.

The last picture

The last picture

For those of you who did not know or need a refresher, here are some true and honest facts about lung cancer:

  • Each year in the US, approximately 228,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer and nearly 160,000 die of the disease.Âą
  • 1 in 14 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer.Âą
  • Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, but approximately 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or have already quit smoking. About 50% are former smokers and 10%-15% have never smoked:5
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined; it accounts for 27% of all cancer deaths.Âą
  • African American males have the highest incidence of lung cancer and the highest death rate.
  • Men’s incidence rates began declining more than 20 years ago, while women’s rates just recently began to decline slightly, after rising for many years.
Lung Cancer in North Carolina
  • In North Carolina, around 8,559 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than 6,186 are expected to die this year.

Did you know?

  • Over the last 30 years, substantial investment has resulted in significant increases in survival of many diseases. For example:
~Breast Cancer
  • US Government research funding: $750 million/year²
  • Results: significant increase in 5-year survival rates:4
    • Early 1970s – 75%
    • Today – 90%
 ~HIV/AIDS
  • US Government research funding: $3 billion/year²
  • Results:
    • AIDS was once a near-immediate death sentence
    • Today – with anti-retroviral drug therapy, the 3-year survival rate is 90%.
 ~Lung Cancer
  • US Government research funding: Only $267 million/year ²³
  • Results: very little change in 5-year survival rates:4
    • Early 1970s – 12%
    • Today – 17%
But there is hope!!!
Over the last five years, there has been an explosion in the scientific understanding of the biology of lung cancer. This information is beginning to be translated into new treatments for the disease, but we can only continue to make progress by funding more research, awareness, education and access programs.
So please, if you are able, support lung cancer awareness in some way during November. One very good organization, particularly for those of us in NC, is the Lung Cancer Initiative of NC. Not only do they support research into lung cancer, they also strive to raise awareness of and provide education regarding lung cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.
If you are interested, you can donate to my personal fundraising page for the Lung Cancer Initiative here.
Because like I say on my LCI page – no one should lose a loved one to lung cancer.
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References
1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2013. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2013.
2. American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2009-2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2010
3. Kohler, B, et al. Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2007, Featuring Tumors of the Brain & Other Nervous System. JNCI, 2011. doi:10.1093/jnci/djr077
4. Fast Stats: An interactive tool for access to SEER cancer statistics. Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute. (Accessed on 4-22-2011)
5. Burns DM. Primary Prevention, smoking, and smoking cessation: Implications for future trends in lung cancer prevention. Cancer, 2000. 89:2506-2509. Thun, MJ, et al. Lung Cancer Occurrence in Never-Smokers: An Analysis of 13 Cohorts and 22 Cancer Registry Studies. PLOS Medicine, 2008. 5(9): e185. Doi: 10.1371/journal/pmed.0050185. Satcher, D, Thompson, TG and Kaplan, JP. Women and smoking: a report of the Surgeon General. Nicotine Tob Res, 2002. 4(1): 7-20.? Park et al. 2012: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.26545/abstract.
6. SEER Stat Fact Sheets. Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute.