UK HealthCare

UK to Host Kentucky's First 'Free to Breathe' Lung Cancer Walk

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2011) – The University of Kentucky will host the first Free to Breathe 5K Walk on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Free to Breathe is a national event that raises awareness and research funding to defeat lung cancer. Proceeds from Free to Breathe events benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s research, education and awareness programs. This year marks the first time the event has been held in Kentucky.

Kentucky leads the nation in both new incidences of lung cancer and deaths from the disease. Though tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer, anyone can develop the disease regardless of his or her smoking status. Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the U.S.  Despite this, lung cancer receives proportionately less government funding per death than other types of cancer.

Free to Breathe aims to rally Kentuckians to create change and help defeat lung cancer. Supporters and participants are creating communities of hope by raising awareness of the disease and funds which can fuel advances in detection and treatment and ultimately save lives.

In addition to the walk itself, the event will also host several educational booths with information on learning your lung age, tobacco cessation, blood pressure screenings, nutrition counseling and radon testing.

UK's Free to Breathe event is co-chaired by Lisa Maggio, lung cancer advocate and doctoral student in the UK College of Nursing, and Gina Kinsella, lung cancer advocate and community organizer.

"Free to Breathe is about putting one foot in front of the other to create change in the lives of those impacted by lung cancer," Maggio said. "I encourage everyone in Lexington to join this movement that will help bring the attention and funding to lung cancer that it desperately needs."

The National Lung Cancer Partnership is a group of leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates and lung cancer survivors who are working to improve treatments for lung cancer patients. The 'Free to Breathe' event series began with a single 5K run and walk in Philadelphia in 2006. Since then, the event series has raised more than $3.6 million with 100 percent of the net proceeds dedicated to making a difference for everyone affected by lung cancer and to directly funding programs of change.

The Free to Breathe walk will begin at the new pavilion of the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital on Nov. 13. The walk officially begins at 9:15 a.m., with registration at 8 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow.  For more information on how to register, donate, sponsor or volunteer for this event, visit Lexington's Free to Breathe site, or contact the co-chairs at or

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or