Lung cancer event in Lewiston among three in state

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AUGUSTA — Free ME from Lung Cancer is raising money for research, education and community support. Three Save Your Breath events are set for November in Augusta, South Portland and Lewiston.

“November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and an excellent time to acknowledge and support patients of this too-often forgotten and neglected disease, which kills more people than any other type of cancer,” said Debra Violette, president and founder of Free ME from Lung Cancer and herself a lung cancer survivor.

“It is not just a smoker’s disease. Anyone can get lung cancer. If you have lungs you can get lung cancer,” said Violette. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. It is the second leading cause of all deaths. Yet lung cancer research continues to be woefully underfunded in comparison to other major cancers. We can change these statistics one step at a time and that’s what the Save Your Breath events are all about.”

Save Your Breath is hosted by the Free ME from Lung Cancer, a Maine-based nonprofit organization. In the second annual event in Augusta last year, more than 130 people participated and raised nearly $20,000.

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With the success of last year’s annual events in South Portland and Lewiston, the goal is to raise $50,000 total at the three events with 200 participants at the Augusta event and 100 each at events in South Portland and Lewiston.

The third annual Save Your Breath event will be held in Augusta on Saturday, Nov. 1. Participants will gather beginning at 8 a.m. at the Kennebec YMCA, 31 Union St. There will be snacks and vendor tables, including an interactive radon information table.

A ceremony will kick off the event at 8:45 a.m., featuring acting Mayor Mark O’Brien as emcee. Councilman Cecil Munson will read the city’s proclamation. Lung cancer survivor Normand Dubreuil will share his story, and Dr. Gleeson from the Alfond Cancer Center will speak on early detection. A 5K fun run walk will follow at Capitol Park.

The second Save Your Breath 5K Fun Run/Walk will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at Southern Maine Community College, Jewett Hall, 2 Fort Road. A ceremony will kick off the event at 8:45 a.m., featuring Channel 8 WMTW News Anchor Tracy Sabol as emcee. It will begin with a reading of a proclamation by Mayor Thomas Blake; Dr. Takeshi Shimamura, PhD, will speak on advancements in lung cancer research. Justin Perry will share his story of survivorship. A 5k fun run/walk will follow.

In Lewiston, Free ME from Lung Cancer will partner with University of Southern Maine – Lewiston Auburn Nursing Community CARE Partnership students Kelsey Averill and Sara Couillard to host the second annual Save Your Breath 1K walk Saturday, Nov. 15, at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn Campus, 51 Westminster St. Doors will open at 9 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants should meet in the South Lobby.

Registration can be done on line at www.freemefromlungcancer.org For more information, contact Deb Violette, president and CEO, at 215-9035.

Registration is $25; children under 13 half price. Those registering on event day are not guaranteed a T-shirt.

For more information, contact Deb Violette at 215-9035 or email her at lung.support@gmail.com.

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