Group Raising Money to Fight Deadly Cancer

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A group is gearing up for their second run/walk to raise money to fight lung cancer. LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep Des Moines will take place Saturday, June 21 at 8 a.m. at the Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines.

The group’s goal is to raise $15,000 this year. All the money goes to research lung cancer. Co-Chair Mike Zavacki says, “Really just trying to do everything we can to rid the world of the disease.”

A couple started the event in the Des Moines metro last year in honor of a young mom. Zavacki says, "Heidi Everly was a woman, 35 years old, avid runner, never smoked a cigarette in her life, got diagnosed with lung cancer and ended up passing away from it leaving her husband without a wife and her two kids without a mother."

Zavacki joined the cause in honor of his dad who died more than twenty years ago after battling the disease. He says, "Lung cancer, I can tell you first hand, it's a beast. When my dad was in the throes of it, he would cough so hard, he ended up breaking four ribs."

LUNGevity reports 1 in every 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer at some point. Less than 6% of federal dollars for cancer research are spent on lung cancer research.

Lung cancer remains a particularly deadly disease. Dr. Jason Mohr, a specialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at The Iowa Clinic, says, “Lung Cancer is still the number one, unfortunately, fatal cancer in both men and women populations. It’s the second most common cause of cancer in both males and females.”

New guidelines recently came out for people at high risk of developing lung cancer. Dr. Mohr says, "New guidelines just came out this year from the U.S. Preventative Services task force, which recommends CT scanning in any smoker with a history of 30 years age 55 to 80."

Click here for more information about LUNGevity's Breathe Deep Des Moines run/walk.


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