Fight Against Lung Disease Rides Strong

(August 6, 2012)

Seventeen cyclists raced into Washington, D.C. Saturday, August 4th as they finished their cross country trek to raise awareness and funds for the American Lung Association. Big Ride Across America is a seven week, 3,300 mile bicycle ride from Seattle to Washington, D.C. The Big Ride began in late June with cyclists averaging 83 miles per day in order to arrive at Freedom Plaza on August 4th.

The Big Ride Across America is a test of body, mind, and spirit. Training for months in advance, each cyclist prepared their body for the long journey ahead and each had a personal motivation which kept them going when their minds began to tell them the journey was not possible.

Steve Lindbeck is one of the inspirational cyclists who completed the journey and crossed the finish line in D.C. Steve, a resident of Alaska and President and General Manager of Alaska Public Telecommunications, Inc., has a very personal connection to the Lung Association's mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. He rode in honor of his wife, an 8-year lung cancer survivor who since diagnosis has devoted time as a regional board member for the American Lung Association in the Mountain Pacific.

Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and, despite advances in research, takes the lives of more people than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. It is the most common cause of cancer death which is why the survival of Steve's wife brings promises of hope for advancing research in the fight against lung disease.

The American Lung Association has been funding and advocating for quality, life-saving research in the fight against lung disease for more than 95 years. In addition to advocating for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health to help find cures for lung cancer, COPD, asthma and all lung diseases, the Lung Association's Research Program is comprised of three distinct programs--the Awards and Grants Program; the Asthma Clinical Research Centers Network (ACRC); and the Epidemiology and Statistics Program.

The Big Ride Across America helped to raise funding to continue this pertinent research and raise awareness for the importance of tobacco control and improved air quality. Each cyclist raised at least $6,000 and Steve Lindbeck went above and beyond raising more than $29,000.

The American Lung Association is forever grateful to those involved in the ride. The cyclists, family members and friends joined together at Freedom Plaza and embraced as each cyclist crossed the finish line. The Big Ride is a testimony to the commitment and dedication of our volunteers and evidence that the fight against lung disease is still riding strong.