Balloons bring awareness to lung cancer

SHARE Balloons bring awareness to lung cancer
SHARE Balloons bring awareness to lung cancer

We hear more about other types of the disease, and maybe even worry about those varieties more, but actually one in 15 (!) Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer.

And, only 17 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer will survive five years or more (although if diagnosed before it spreads, the survival rates improve greatly).

Those are some of the sobering statistics the Lungevity Foundation is sharing as it spreads the word about its fourth annual Breathe Deep North Shore Day and raises awareness about lung cancer.

The activities will start with a 5k fun run at 9:15 a.m. Sunday (April 26). There also will be a 2-mile walk. Live music and other fun stuff will be included.

And here’s something touching the day includes. In memory of those who lost their battle with lung cancer or those fighting it now, for a $5 donation, participants can write a person’s name (or a message) on a balloon. At the end of the event, everyone gathers together and releases their balloons into the sky. Some 400 balloons are expected to fill the air.

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Lung cancer survivor Jill Feldman, who has participated in the past, describes the powerful moment. “For me, I am overcome with emotions, ranging from missing those I have lost to the disease, to being grateful that I have treatment options my loved ones didn’t, to having hope that my children will never have to go through what I’ve gone through,” says the 45-year-old Deerfield resident. “But, the moment I release those balloons, any heaviness in my heart is renewed with peace.”

Everything happens on the football field at Deerfield High School, 1959 Waukegan Road in the suburb.

You can sign up online here until 3 p.m. Friday (April 24). Same-day registration begins at 8:45 a.m.

On its website, the Lungevity Foundation describes itself as the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit. Proceeds from Sunday’s events will go toward raising awareness as well as research.

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