‘Free to Breathe Run’ works to increase lung cancer survival

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The goal is to double the lung cancer survival rate.  This weekend, Hoosiers can help do that by putting on their running shoes for the Fourth Annual Free to Breathe Run/Walk.

One of the volunteer event chairs told CBS4 about why she worked to get the event started.

“It’s really beautiful and healing,” said Brandi Dale, whose grandfather and father both had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“Both my grandfather and my dad passed away in 2008 within seven months of one another,” said Dale.  “So it was really hard, and I was really angry and quite honestly it felt really unfair, but that’s why I got involved with Free to Breathe.”

The event is meant to increase awareness about lung cancer, and the money raised goes to vital research programs dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022.

“I wanted to make a difference for other families and make sure that they hopefully don’t go through what I did,” said Dale.

The families want everyone to know that the research is so important, especially since many new cases aren’t always linked to cigarettes.

“The biggest thing is that while smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it’s not the only cause,” said Dale.  “Radon is actually the second leading cause of lung cancer and about 10-15 percent of new diagnoses are in people who have never smoked.”

The 5K Run/Walk is Sunday at 10 a.m.  There is a one-mile walk.  Registration for Free to Breathe starts at 9 a.m. at Fort Harrison State Park.

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