Breaking News Bar
updated: 11/2/2011 2:23 PM

Breathe Deep Naperville walk raises funds for lung cancer research

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Twelve years after first being diagnosed with lung cancer, Tom Bowles, center, is doing well and receiving treatment once every five weeks. Advancements have allowed him to enjoy vacations with his wife, Michelle, and their children.

    Twelve years after first being diagnosed with lung cancer, Tom Bowles, center, is doing well and receiving treatment once every five weeks. Advancements have allowed him to enjoy vacations with his wife, Michelle, and their children.
    Courtesy of Michelle Bowles

  • Twelve years after first being diagnosed with lung cancer, Tom Bowles is doing well and receiving treatment once every five weeks.

    Twelve years after first being diagnosed with lung cancer, Tom Bowles is doing well and receiving treatment once every five weeks.
    Courtesy of Michelle Bowles

 
 

Michelle Bowles has participated in charity walks for various causes and in support of friends and family in the past. But never has a walk had the impact of this weekend's Breathe Deep Naperville: A Walk and Rally to Stop Lung Cancer.

"To me personally, the 2011 Lung Cancer Walk and Rally means my husband, Tom, will continue to be with us," she said. "What more reason do I need to help make this walk succeed?"

In the fall of 1999, following a game of touch football in which he was "touched" a little too hard, Tom had some lingering pain that he eventually went to have checked out.

"Maybe he was getting a little too old for football," Bowles said. "Maybe he injured a rib."

The diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer -- which led to chemotherapy, radiation and the removal of his left lung -- rocked the Elmhurst family, but Tom was cleared of his cancer for about two years. Then two small tumors were found -- one in his brain and one in his spine. He was diagnosed at Stage 4.

A combination of radiology and surgery eliminated those tumors and the coast was clear for a few more years.

"His hip started to bother him, and scans showed a tumor in his pelvic bone near the hip socket. That was a disheartening moment," she said. "Since then he's been benefiting from newer treatments that research has discovered."

Tom receives treatments every five weeks, and things continue to look positive. The Bowles believe wholeheartedly that Tom is doing well today because of the support of those who have walked for the past eight years in the annual walk, formerly known as the Naperville Walk and Rally for Lung Cancer.

"We have to keep walking and raising money for lung cancer research to help our families, our friends and our future," Bowles said. "Lung cancer is the most deadly, yet least funded cancer out there today. If we can get 500 people out here and raise $50,000, that will go a long way toward promoting early detection."

The ninth annual walk, offering routes of .75 miles or 1.5 miles, begins with a 9 a.m. check-in and 10:15 a.m. start Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Grand Pavilion, 500 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. The course is friendly to strollers, wheelchairs, bicycles and pets. There will be a raffle prizes and a silent auction throughout the morning.

The walk and rally was founded by Renee Kosiarek of Naperville nine years ago after her father died of lung cancer.

"This walk has become an annual tradition for many families touched by lung cancer," Kosiarek said. "When we began, there were almost no events or walks for lung cancer. Now, there are walks all across the country. However, we must not stop until we find a cure."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.