A give-back night from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at Potbelly Sandwich Works in Naperville will raise funds for the 11th annual “Breathe Deep Naperville: A Walk & Rally to Stop Lung Cancer,” co-chaired by Melissa Fosco of Naperville, and Michele Bowles of Elmhurst. The walk and rally benefit LUNGevity.
The nonprofit organization's stated mission is: to unite the country in one movement to “ … end lung cancer now.”
The Potbelly location at 236 S. Washington St. will donate 25 percent of total sales during the four hours of fundraising. In addition, registration forms for the November walk will be available.
“We always like to get involved with community activities, and this is a fantastic cause,” said Jeremy Morar, general manager for Potbelly. “This will be our second year helping with this fundraiser, and we are excited to see this turn into an annual event.”
When Fosco was just 9, her mother died of breast cancer. Then four years ago, her mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer and lost her battle after two years. That same month, Fosco and her husband heard about the LUNGevity walk, and participated in her memory. She has been involved ever since.
“I am very excited to be co-chairing the walk and to help this organization grow,” Fosco said. “We are very focused on early detection, targeted therapies and genetic links which will save lives.”
The walk and rally were founded by Renee Kosiarek of Naperville. After her father died of lung cancer 11 years ago, she set out to raise money and awareness for the disease. Gaining momentum, it's grown from drawing 100 people to bringing together about 500 to celebrate survivorship and to remember those who have been lost.
Since 2002, the organization notes that LUNGevity-funded research projects have totaled more than $15 million; this represents an investment in 100 projects at 56 institutions in 23 states. About 60 percent of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers, and one in every 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer.
Walk & Rally
The annual "Breathe Deep Naperville: A Walk & Rally to Stop Lung Cancer" will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, starting at the Riverwalk Park Grand Pavilion, 500 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. For more information, visit www.lungevity.org/naperville.