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April 22 Walk in Honor of Advocate Who Battled Nation’s Deadliest Cancer
The majority of San Diegans diagnosed with lung cancer have less than five years to live.
San Diegan Maria Diaz Enriquez beat those odds.
However, after a nine year battle, she passed away while planning the Fourth Annual San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk.
Photo (left to right): Carmel Valley resident and walk committee member Karl Schwenkmeyer, emcee Whitney Southwick of NBC 7 San Diego, and walk co-founder Mike Stevens
This year’s Walk, on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Cancer Survivors Park (4100 North Harbor Drive, San Diego), will be in Maria’s honor.
In early 2003, Maria discovered she had inoperable stage 3B lung cancer. She was given chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and in 2009, the cancer spread to her brain. Because there is no cure for lung cancer, Maria lived from one treatment to the next. Her life became a series of doctors appointments, tests, treatments and side effects.
Throughout her journey, she sought to bring awareness to this often considered “invisible” cancer, which kills nearly twice as many women each year as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. In San Diego County, there will be nearly 1,400 new cases of lung cancer in 2012.
In association with the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), the San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk is a 5K walk that brings together over 1,000 lung cancer survivors, patients, families and friends, among many others.
Lung cancer is commonly misperceived as a “smokers’ disease,” but more than 75 percent of all diagnosed cases occur in people who have never smoked, like Maria, or people who have quit smoking.
The walk aims to raise the public’s awareness of lung cancer and help increase early diagnosis and research for this deadliest of cancers. Notably, lung cancer receives the lowest amount of research dollars compared to any other major cancer.
All proceeds will benefit Lung Cancer Alliance, the only national nonprofit organization devoted solely to support and advocate for all those living with or at risk for lung cancer, specifically for efforts in California. LCA’s mission is ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support.
Registration and expo begin at 7:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 9 a.m. Registration, including on-site registration, is $35. For children, 12 years old and under, registration is $20, and all participants will be given a walk t-shirt. For more information about the San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk or to register, please visit http://www.sandiegobreathofhope.
This year’s sponsors include: NBC 7 San Diego, J. Walcher Communications, Genentech, UC San Diego’s Moores CancerCenter, Astellas Oncology, Invisible Hair and Center for Sustainable Energy.
About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to providing support and advocacy for people living with or at risk for the disease. LCA’s mission is ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support. Fifty percent of LCA’s work is patient support, with the remaining 50 percent focusing on advocacy and awareness.
Participation and support of LCA’s San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk allows LCA to continue directly helping patients, survivors and their families each and every day, while raising awareness and advocating for change that is now leveraging multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research and early detection.
The Carmel Valley Life is a community run and operated organization comprised of local leaders who come together to create a greater sense of community and to educate and inspire Carmel Valley San Diego towards a movement of community, connection and contribution.
Purpose: to serve as an example of what it means to be a community.
Mission: to create a movement of meaningfully contributing to our community by creating a resourceful site of valuable content that is managed and run by its community members.
Vision: to challenge the community to directly get involved in the development and continuation of the site by 1) sharing stories that inspire, 2) create projects that bring the community together to demonstrate compassion, and 3) unite in joint efforts to create an even better community.
Beyond Just Ourselves: to bring self-sustainability and self-sufficiency to communities that lack the ability to provide for the health and well-being of their members. Please see “Project Give.”