Support a Lung Cancer Cure at Free to Breathe
Sign up for the Free to Breathe 5k fun run/walk and support a cure for lung cancer.
Suzanne Dahlberg knows lung cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence.
Dahlberg is organizing the event.
"This is a community event to raise hope and awareness for lung cancer, a celebration of survivorship and memberance of those we've lost," she said. "It's meant to be an uplifting experience. I think when people think of lung cancer, they think gloom and doom, but that's not what we’re about."
Money raised at the event goes toward the lung cancer partnership's research grant program, to help find a cure.
Dahlberg has been working hard to "do it right" - keep Free to Breathe upbeat and positive, and a different experience from other cancer walks.
"We work nine moths out of the year to do (this) ... we hope for it to get that big some day. But the growth comes slowly," she said.
Dahlberg hopes to get 600 people registered for this year's walk. There were 327 at last year's event.
But if you want an official time, bring your watch. The Free to Breathe 5k is a fun run/walk.
"It's not competitively timed. Other organizers ... say you'll get more people if you have it timed but that’s not the flavor of an event I want for our town," she said. "I've been there .. I'm not compettive and (at other 5ks) I was getting elbowed and pushed off sidewalk. I don't want that to happen. It's meant to be fun and enjoyable for everyone."
Some teams have gotten as big as 26 or 20 people walking in memory or in honor of someone they love.
The National Lung Cancer Partnership is a widely respected organization, Dahlberg said.
"Research is the biggest bulk of what they do but also awareness and patient education programs, so helping find a clinical trial (for patients), finding best care in your area, oncologists, paper materials and patient booklets, doing health fairs, things like that," she said.
Free to Breathe has more than 40 events nationwide, Dahlberg said, and if you can't make the Chelmsford walk, participants can register at freetobreathe.org to participate in the national walk. Participants can still set up a fundraising page, will get a t-shirt in the mail and can take a walk around their neighborhood.
Register for the event here. The event takes place at Harrington Elementary School / Chelmsford High School. Event day registration also begins at 8 a.m., with the walk starting at 9:30 a.m. This year's event will also include a kids dash after the 5k walk.
Jazzercise class leaders will come to the event to do a quick warm-up with participants. There will also be a rally with speakers to call attention to survivors. After the walk, food and snacks will be available for participants.
Sponsors include Cedar's Hommus, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and The Meat House among others. Lucy Schultz will be doing event photography and taking team photos. Chelmsford Patch is also sponsoring the event and will have a tent at the 5k.
Dahlberg said Chelmsford High School cheerleading and gymnastics teams will be volunteering at the event. However, if anyone else is interested in volunteering or even helping organize next year's event, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also "like" the Chelmsford Free to Breathe 5k on Facbeook.