Northwestern Medicine Raises Record Breaking Amount For Lung Force Walk
By Linnea MasonPulmonology September 29, 2017
New this year, WGN-TV anchors Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte kick started the event as the MCs for the opening ceremony. Lung cancer survivor and Northwestern Medicine patient, Susan Warmerdam, also spoke. Susan was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 47 after a common cough wouldn’t go away. A non-smoker with no risk factors for lung cancer except a gene mutation (EGFR), she beat the odds of the disease and emphasized the importance of early detection.
Malcolm DeCamp, MD, chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital also shared some encouraging words at the event.
“We come together to raise awareness for the men and women affected by lung cancer,” said DeCamp. “In Illinois, more than 6,500 people battle lung cancer each year. If we can encourage at least one person to get screened early, we could save a life.”
DeCamp along with 1,050 participants walked the three mile scenic route around the campus.
A huge contributor to the planning and execution of the event was executive director of the American Lung Association of Greater Chicago, Kristen Young.
“Preparation began almost a year ago and with the support of Northwestern Medicine and all the teams that registered, we were able to exceed our goal for the amount of participants walking and dollars raised,” said Young. “These efforts will help us to advance research for asthma, COPD and other lung diseases as well as provide backing for advocacy and education programs for the American Lung Association.”
In addition to the annual fundraiser for the American Lung Association, the organization launched a first-of-its-kind joint campaign with the Ad Council on low-dose CT screenings called “Saved by the Scan.” Low-dose CT screenings are 3-dimensional X-rays of the lungs using low-dose radiation that can detect an abnormality as small as a grain of rice in the lungs. This crucial screening can detect lung cancer early before it spreads to other parts of the body.
Northwestern Medicine is also the local presenting sponsor for the Lung Force Walk.