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Sandwich resident raises funds to fight lung cancer


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Sandwich resident raises funds to fight lung cancer

Sandwich resident Kathy Cuddy, 69, a lung cancer advocate who has lost several family members to the disease, has been leading the LUNGevity Foundation’s Breathe Deep Boston 5K Walk since 2008.

Serving as the event coordinator, there is no task big or small that she doesn’t handle, including everything from overseeing a committee of 13 to coordinating food vendors, sponsorships and walker safety to the planning and execution of the one-day fundraising event’s opening and closing ceremonies.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, thousands of participants will find her orchestrating the logistics of walkers, volunteers and vendors, solving any issues that arise and overseeing the speaking program during the eighth annual Breathe Deep Boston 5K Walk. Cuddy’s husband, Jack, assists her with logistics. She is currently seeking volunteers to assist with everything from registration to set-up, breakdown, parking, and serving refreshments.

In an effort to prevent other families from losing loved-ones to the disease, the retired speech and language pathologist was compelled to become involved with the walk after losing two younger sisters and a brother-in-law to lung cancer. They endured grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but it wasn’t enough.

“They all passed away from lung cancer within several months of being diagnosed and both my sisters were only 51 years old when they died,” says Cuddy. “There wasn’t much that could be done because the cancer had spread. One of the most difficult experiences I had was watching my sister face brain surgery, even though she was terrified, in the hopes of extending her life. With more funding, and improved screenings for early detection, more lives can be saved.”

Currently, six percent of federal funding for cancer research is spent on lung cancer research, which is why funds raised from the event are so important. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, impacting one in 14 Americans, and claiming approximately 160,000 lives every year - more than colorectal, breast and pancreatic combined. It can afflict anyone, regardless of smoking history, gender, or ethnicity. Only 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive five years post-diagnosis.

In addition to volunteering as event coordinator, Cuddy makes financial contributions to lung cancer causes that advance lung cancer research and she represents the LUNGevity Foundation at other local lung cancer events.

The walk’s fundraising goal is to raise $250,000 to fund critical lung cancer research, advocacy and support across the country. To date, the one-day fundraising event has raised more than $1 million.

LUNGevity Foundation is the nation’s largest private organization dedicated to research for the early detection and treatment of lung cancer. The Breathe Deep Boston 5K Walk is one of more than 80 LUNGevity events that take place annually across the country Since 2002, LUNGevity-funded scientific research projects have totaled more than $19 million. This represents an investment in 110 projects at 57 institutions in 23 states.

- Participants often walk in honor of someone currently battling lung cancer or in memory of someone lost to the disease. Individuals and/or businesses are encouraged to sign up as teams. The walk will kick-off at 11 a.m. at DCR’s Mother’s Rest Area in South Boston. The course is stroller and wheelchair-friendly.

To volunteer or register for the Breathe Deep Boston 5K Walk on Nov. 1, or to support a walker, visit lungevity.org/boston or call 312-407-6100. Participants can enter the discount code BREATHE for $5 off the registration fee.

November is lung cancer awareness month.

http://sandwich.wickedlocal.com/article ... 0/?Start=2

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