American Lung Association Walk in Wheaton Raises Funds to Help People with Various Lung Diseases


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

Not for people with asthma, COPD or other lung diseases. For them, that single breath can be a challenge.

The American Lung Association works every day to meet these challenges head-on, providing support, education, and funding for programs that can help others breathe easier.

Funding for these programs comes from donors and fundraisers like the annual LUNG FORCE walk, which will take place on October 17 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. The event will have staggered start times starting 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 march 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.

More than 20 million people each year are helped by our programs and initiatives. Here’s how we impact lives:

• Commitment to fund $ 10 million specifically for lung cancer research.

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

• We share a full suite of tools for people with asthma.

Walkers pose for photos 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 will take place on October 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 pulmonary helpline is made up of registered nurses, respiratory therapists, certified tobacco treatment specialists and counselors.

• Our national research program finds new and improved cures and treatments for lung disease research centers dedicated to research into the treatment of asthma and COPD.

• Our Freedom From Smoking® program has helped over one million Americans live smoke-free lives.

Q: Where do most of your donations come from?

A: Donations to the American Lung Association come in many forms: one-time donations, commemorations, planned donations, funds raised at events such as Fight For Air Climbs or LUNG FORCE Walks.

For every dollar donated to the association, 87 cents are donated to support activities for people at risk or living with lung disease. Donations to our organization enable research, education and advocacy work to support people 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, which means we value financial accountability and are transparent with our donors and the public. We publish our annual report and audited financial statements every year.

Whether you donate $ 10 or $ 100, you are helping the American Lung Association better serve lung disease patients and their families. The rest takes care of the financing and administration costs.

Q: How many people per year do you serve?

A: Our work directly affects more than 20 million Americans each year and supports millions of Americans through 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: Each year, the American Lung Association helps thousands of people manage their lung disease, overcome their tobacco addiction, and live healthier lives, through the help of our wide array of educational resources and training.

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

• Better Breathers Clubs are in-person support groups run by volunteers across the country. They provide the opportunity to learn ways to cope better with lung disease while gaining support from 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 the reasons to quit.

• LUNG FORCE exhibitions are a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends, resources and research related to lung cancer, COPD, asthma and other lung diseases. The full-day event features experts from various fields related to lung health presenting current research and hot topics, an exhibitor showcase and a chance for patients, caregivers and the local medical community to to log in.

The 2017 LUNG FORCE Walkers benefiting the American Lung Association show their tribute to a loved one who has battled lung disease.  This year's event will take place on October 17th.

The 2017 LUNG FORCE Walkers benefiting the American Lung Association show their tribute to a loved one who has battled lung disease. This year’s event will take place on October 17th.
– courtesy of Ted Pereda

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

• Radon Basics is a free, one-hour, online learning program designed to help homeowners, housing professionals and healthcare providers better understand radon, a commonly found carcinogenic radioactive gas in indoors to 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. on October 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 business teams to stroll, stroll or walk in beautiful Cantigny Park.

Registration for the LUNG FORCE walk is free and participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $ 100 to win a t-shirt for the event.

For more information and to register, visit

Q: How can readers help if they can’t attend the event?

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

Q: What else would you like readers to know?

A: It doesn’t matter whether you are walking, strolling or going on foot: everyone is welcome at LUNG FORCE Walks. It is a party atmosphere for all ages and abilities. The LUNG FORCE march provides essential funds for vital research, early detection initiatives and pandemic defense and prevention through our COVID-19 action initiative and vaccination.

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