We at Free ME from Lung Cancer want to thank Augusta Mayor William Stokes, Councilor Cecil Munson, Sen. Roger Katz, Mary K. Spencer from the Potters House and Dr. Gregory Emmons from the Harold Alfond Cancer Center for participating in our second annual Save Your Breath Ceremony held Nov. 2 at Buker School in Augusta. We also want to extend our deepest appreciation to our planning committee and volunteers; to all those who attended, our sponsors, fund raisers and donors. Their support helped raise more than $17,000. Our success could not be possible without the support from our community, family, friends, neighbors and co-workers..

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer. In fact, every three minutes someone loses their life to the disease. Lung cancer is woefully underfunded and sorely misunderstood. It is often assumed that if a person has lung cancer, he or she caused it by smoking.

We can change these statistics by raising money to helping researchers find better treatment options. We also can help reduce lung cancer risks through education and early detection. By raising awareness and education, we can help erase the stigma long associated with lung cancer. And we can help those affected by the disease by providing them with much-needed support.

This is exactly what Free ME from Lung Cancer’s mission is — research, education and community support.

Deb Violette, founder and presidentAugusta