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Sep 17, 2013 11:32 AM by Elizabeth Hill

Local race raises money for national lung cancer research

"I knew at that time there was nothing I could do to save him."

When Tanya Farmer's father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in December of 2011, she immediately went to work setting up the free to breath 5K race.

"I knew that I wanted to do something to try and help others that were diagnosed in the future from feeling that pain that I felt."

Farmer and race co-chair Rachael Willeford say lung cancer is seen as a smoker's disease and that stigma has led to a lack of funding for research. While smoking does increase your risk, non-smokers are not exempt.

"60% of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients have never smoked or haven't smoked in decades."

"Just because someone is smoking doesn't mean they don't deserve that research," says Willeford.

As in the case of Farmer's father, lung cancer is often not detected until the third or fourth stage. Survival rates are low.

"There are preventative measures out there."

Farmer watched her father suffer through painful cancer treatment, but now she's focused on the good times.

"It's a healthy way for me to keep his memory alive and I feel his spirit with me."

The Free to Breathe Lafayette 5K is Saturday, September 28 in River Ranch. You can register online or on race day. To register online click here.

Our Lady or Lourdes will be giving away 5 free CT scans. You must be registered for the race and present that day to be eligible to win.

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