American Lung Association walk in Wheaton raises funds to help people with various lung diseases

  • Participants in the 2018 LUNG FORCE Walk enjoy their stroll along the lakefront in Chicago. Come out and saunter or power walk at this year's fundraiser at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

    Participants in the 2018 LUNG FORCE Walk enjoy their stroll along the lakefront in Chicago. Come out and saunter or power walk at this year's fundraiser at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. courtesy of Ted Pereda

 
 
Updated 9/30/2021 6:48 AM

Stand up and take a deep breath. Easy, right?

Not for the anyone who suffers from asthma, COPD or other lung diseases. For them, that one breath can be a challenge.

 

The American Lung Association works every day to meet those challenges head on, offering support, education and funding for programs that can help others breathe a little easier.

Funding for these programs comes from donors and fundraisers like the annual LUNG FORCE Walk, which will take place Oct. 17 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. The event will have staggered start times begining at 10 a.m. to help with social distancing due to COVID-19.

James A. Martinez, senior director of communications, Western Division, for the American Lung Association, talks about the upcoming walk and the programs offered by the association.

Q: What is the American Lung Association? Give a brief overview of what the organization does and who you serve.

A: The American Lung Association is the leading organization saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

More than 20 million people each year are helped by our programs and initiatives. Here's how we're making an impact on lives:

• Committed to funding $10 million specifically for lung cancer research.

• We work to protect public health from unhealthy air pollution.

• We share a comprehensive suite of tools for those living with asthma.

Walkers pose for pictures with a tribute to a loved one during the 2017 LUNG FORCE Walk in Oak Brook. This year's fundraiser for the American Lung Association takes place Oct. 17 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
Walkers pose for pictures with a tribute to a loved one during the 2017 LUNG FORCE Walk in Oak Brook. This year's fundraiser for the American Lung Association takes place Oct. 17 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. - courtesy of Ted Pereda

• Better Breathers Clubs allow patients and their caregivers to come together for an in-person support group.

• Our national Lung HelpLine is staffed by registered nurses, respiratory therapists, certified tobacco treatment specialists and counselors.

• Our Nationwide Research Program finds cures and new and improved treatments for lung disease research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Our Freedom From Smoking« program helped over 1 million Americans live smoke-free lives.

Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?

A: Gifts to the American Lung Association come in many different forms -- one-time donations, memorials, planned giving, funds raised through events such as Fight For Air Climbs or LUNG FORCE Walks.

For every dollar donated to the association, 87 cents goes to activities supporting people at risk for or living with lung disease. Gifts to our organization enable research, education and advocacy work to support those living with lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.

We are a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity, meaning that we value financial accountability and are transparent with our donors and the public. We publish our Annual Report and audited financials every year.

Whether you donate $10 or $100, you are helping the American Lung Association better serve patients of lung disease and their families. The rest supports fundraising and administrative costs.

Q: How many people per year do you serve?

A: Our work directly touches more than 20 million Americans each year and supports millions of Americans with our pioneering model of education, advocacy and research. Every donation to the American Lung Association supports those affected by lung disease through our programs and services.

Q: What are some of your programs?

A: Every year, the American Lung Association helps thousands of people manage their lung disease, overcome their tobacco addiction and live healthier lives, thanks to help from our wide range of education and training resources.

• Asthma Basics is a free, one-hour, interactive online learning module ideal for individuals with asthma, parents of children with asthma, co-workers, friends and family who want to learn more about asthma.

• Better Breathers Clubs are in-person support groups led by volunteers all across the country. They offer the opportunity to learn ways to better cope with lung disease while getting the support of others in similar situations.

• Freedom From Smoking« (FFS) is a program for adults who are ready to quit smoking. Because most people know that smoking is dangerous to their health, the program focuses almost exclusively on how to quit, not why to quit.

• LUNG FORCE Expos are a great opportunity to learn more about the latest trends, resources and research surrounding lung cancer, COPD, asthma and other lung diseases. The one-day event features experts from a variety of lung health-related fields presenting on current research and hot topics, an exhibitor showcase and a chance for patients, caregivers and the local medical community to connect.

Walkers at the 2017 LUNG FORCE Walk to benefit the American Lung Association show off their tribute to a loved who battled a lung disease. This year's event takes place Oct. 17.
Walkers at the 2017 LUNG FORCE Walk to benefit the American Lung Association show off their tribute to a loved who battled a lung disease. This year's event takes place Oct. 17. - courtesy of Ted Pereda

• Breathe Well, Live Well: The Guide to Managing Asthma at Home and Work is an empowering learning experience that shows you how to develop asthma self-management skills and build support teams at home and at work.

• Radon Basics is a free, one-hour online learning program designed to help homeowners, housing professionals and health care providers understand more about radon, a radioactive, cancer-causing gas commonly found indoors at dangerous levels.

Q: Tell us about the LUNG FORCE Walk.

A: The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago's LUNG FORCE Walk, presented by Northwestern Medicine, will take place at 10 a.m. Oct. 17 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Registration is free.

Q: How can people participate?

A: Registration is now open for the event, which invites individuals, families, groups of friends, and corporate teams to stroll, saunter, or power walk through beautiful Cantigny Park.

Registration for the LUNG FORCE Walk is free, and participants are encouraged to fundraise a minimum of $100 to earn an event T-shirt.

For more information and to register, visit LUNGFORCEWalk.org/Chicagoland.

Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the event?

A: Readers can simply visit our website to donate online or they can participate virtually via our Walk Your Way virtual option.

Q: What else would you like readers to know?

A: It doesn't matter whether you stroll, saunter, or power walk: all are welcome at LUNG FORCE Walks. It's a celebratory atmosphere for all ages and abilities. The LUNG FORCE Walk provides critical funds for lifesaving research, early detection initiatives, and pandemic defense and prevention through our COVID-19 Action Initiative and vaccine outreach.

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