In August, we donated the funds raised during our casual Fridays to Free To Breathe. We raised $85, and the agency matched it for a donation of $170.
Free To Breathe is a non-profit dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. Elizabeth Pita, a Loiselle Insurance employee, lost her brother-in-law, Jose Pita, to lung cancer last year. Consequently, Pita and her family formed team “Pai’s Fight Club” for the upcoming 10th Annual Lung Cancer Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk honoring his memory and to benefit other lung cancer patients.
Free To Breathe focuses on funding research projects with the greatest potential to save lives. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S., accounting for 27 percent of all cancer deaths. Unfortunately, the incidence of lung cancer in women increased 94 percent over the past 39 years. However, the incidence in men dropped 32 percent.
Early diagnosis is vital for lung cancer patients. When it remains in the lungs, the survival rate is about 55 percent. However, early diagnosis only occurs in 16 percent of cases today. Without early detection, the survival rate plummets to 4 percent. Smoking is still the principal cause of lung cancer, but many patients never smoked.
Consequently, Free To Breathe believes research and patient participation in clinical trials is extremely important. By discovering ways to detect and treat the disease in its early stages, they hope to save many lives. Clinical trials offer researchers an opportunity to try new drugs, tests, and treatments in a safe, well-regulated environment. They’ve funded over $5 million in research grants and offer a matching service for patients to find appropriate clinical trials.
Free To Breathe also educates patients, families and caregivers so they can better face lung cancer challenges and understand the symptoms and risks. Obviously, lung cancer has a significant impact on everyone involved.
An important component of Free to Breathe’s fundraising efforts is their event series, including the annual run/walk. Money raised goes to where it’s needed most. In 2016, 85% of all funds went to lung cancer research, awareness programs, and patient education. Only 15% of funds go towards administration and fundraising.
This year, the annual walk/run takes place on October 14th in Slater Park in Pawtucket. The race begins at 9:00 am with a silent auction to raise additional funds.
If you would like to donate to team “Pai’s Fight Club”, you can do so here. Free To Breathe also offers additional ways to contribute such as planned and corporate giving, securities, matching gifts, and wedding favor donations. Clearly, lung cancer patients benefit from this worthwhile cause and could use your support.