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Young Bethesda Family Taking LC Battle to National Mall


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A young Bethesda family is taking their personal battle with lung cancer to the National Mall in November, hosting a fundraising walk to benefit lung cancer research.

Breathe Deep DC -- a 5k walk on the National Mall on November 15th -- was conceived by Jerry Sorkin, a Bethesda father of two, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer two years ago. A non-smoker, Sorkin was treated for Hodgkin's disease, another type of cancer, in high school and again in college. The radiation that saved his life in the early 1980s is the likely cause of his lung cancer.

Sorkin says, "When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I was stunned to learn how many people suffer from it, how little awareness there is for the realities of the disease, and how little money our country puts into research that would improve and extend patients' lives. I have quietly fought this disease with my family and friends. Together, we want to take the fight to the Mall and raise awareness and funding to fight back."

The statistics on lung cancer are staggering -- more than 150,000 Americans die from the disease each year. According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of people diagnosed with lung cancer have already quit smoking or, like Sorkin, were never smokers at all. And, although lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the United States, lung cancer research funding lags far behind other cancers. For example, the disease receives only 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget, even though it causes about 30% of all cancer deaths.

Because governmental and corporate underwriting for lung cancer research is so scarce, LUNGevity Foundation has created a national grassroots movement, composed of volunteers like the Sorkin family. This grassroots approach has lead to great success for LUNGevity, which was named Fastest Growing Charity in the U.S. in 2009 by the independent Charity Navigator. One of the reasons for LUNGevity's success is that every dollar that it spends on research is matched -dollar-for-dollar- by its granting partners, such as the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association.

LUNGevity has partnered with the Arlington-based Corporate Executive Board, where Sorkin is a senior executive, as the title sponsor for Breathe Deep DC. Tom Monahan, chairman and CEO of the Corporate Executive Board, compared the goals of LUNGevity to those of his own organization. "LUNGevity's mission is to accelerate the learning about lung cancer for doctors, officials and society. That mission -- gathering facts, developing insights, changing minds, and enabling action -- is consistent with what we at the Corporate Executive Board do on our best days. We are delighted to support this organization and anticipate strong employee participation in the event. I encourage other organizations in Washington and around the country to devote their energy and resources to this fight."


Breathe Deep DC 5k, a Fundraising Walk for LUNGevity Foundation


Sunday, November 15 at 9 a.m. to NOON


The Grounds of the Washington Monument

For more information about the event, to register, or to make a donation, visit http://www.lungevity.org/dcwalk.


The Corporate Executive Board Company

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(Medical News Today, Lung Cancer, September 17, 2009)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not being posted with the intention of being medical advice of any kind.

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