Cara McManus was an avid cyclist and lifelong nonsmoker who, in the spring of 2013, was incorrectly diagnosed with asthma after experiencing more than a month's worth of increasingly serious symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath. It was not until late August, several months later, that Cara and her friends and family learned the shocking truth - this active, otherwise healthy 34-year-old had stage IV lung cancer.
Cara's cancer was identified as ALK-positive, a rare genetic aberration that appears in only a few percent of lung cancer patients but is much more common among young nonsmokers who develop lung cancer. Thanks to groundbreaking research that has occurred in recent years, Cara was able to benefit from several recently developed treatments specifically targeting her form of cancer. These treatments greatly enhanced her survival and quality of life. (If you would like to read more about Cara's story, see this blog post by her husband Jeff: http://guyaboutcleveland.blogspot.com/2015/11/if-you-have-lungs-you-can-get-lung.html)
During her battle, Cara became keenly aware of the importance of lung cancer awareness and research funding - most people, doctors included, never consider the possibility that someone like Cara would have lung cancer - and lung cancer receives a disproportionately small amount of research funding despite killing more people than any other cancer. Cara decided that she would like to start a lung cancer charity event here in Cleveland, and in 2014 she reached out to the LUNGevity Foundation. Cara was instrumental in founding and organizing the inaugural Breathe Deep Cleveland event. The event, held in June 2015, was a huge success, raising over $39,000. Tragically, Cara did not get to see her efforts and planning come to fruition, because she passed away two months before the inaugural Breathe Deep Cleveland.
Breathe Deep Cleveland is now an annual event, and we hope to continue to carry on Cara's legacy in this, its third year.
Our team is walking to raise money to fight lung cancer—will you join us?
Proceeds from this event will benefit LUNGevity Foundation, the leading private provider of research funding for lung cancer. We're making a personal commitment to help them raise money to support their vital work—will you please help us?
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to having an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease.
Please join us in our efforts to stop lung cancer—the leading cancer killer—now!
To donate to our team, click on the "Roster" tab above and choose a team member to donate to.
LUNGevity Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.