Winter 2012 Air Matters E-Newsletter

(December 13, 2012)

Greetings! Rene Klein ALA Office 

The bustle of the busy holiday season is upon us! As friends and families gather for special occasions, there are gifts to be bought, pies to be baked and much, much more on our to-do lists. Now, more than ever, it is important to take a moment and just…breathe! Self-care is so important when life gets busy, and one of the best ways you can take care of yourself (and others) is to get your annual flu shot.

For many years, I skipped getting my flu shot. “I never get sick,” was my rationale. When I learned that I could pass on the flu to others even without having symptoms myself, I realized that getting vaccinated was the right thing to do.

Please take a moment out of your busy week and speak with your health care provider or local pharmacy about the vaccine option that’s right for you, and your family, this influenza season. You can get started right now by visiting our online Flu Vaccine Finder.

Happy Holidays!

Yours in health,
Renée Klein
President and CEO

Lung Cancer Workshop ParticipantsRaising Awareness About Lung Cancer In November    

Lung cancer is the single leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., accounting for more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver and kidney cancers combined. The American Lung Association is working to bring lung cancer to the forefront and increase awareness of the disease, because no one deserves lung cancer.

Participants at the Portland Lung Cancer workshop
show off Oregon’s Lung Cancer Month Proclamation

November’s activities included:


  • Frankly Speaking About Lung Cancer Workshops: Across the Mountain Pacific Region, individuals diagnosed with lung disease and their families gathered to learn more during Frankly Speaking About Lung Cancer workshops held in Boise, Honolulu and Portland. Top local cancer physicians and lung cancer survivors shared what to expect, how to communicate with providers and family, available resources and ongoing support.
  • Focus on screening: One reason lung cancer is so deadly is that it is hard to find in its early stages. It may take years for the lung cancer to grow. By the time a patient notices symptoms, the cancer has often spread to other parts of the body. Researchers are working hard to develop screening tests that can find lung cancer in its early stages. A recent study found that screening with low dose CT scans can reduce deaths in those at high risk. Talk to your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for screening.
  • New web resource: Facing Lung Cancer – Support from Day One offers information, guidance and support for those living with lung cancer and their loved ones. Facing Lung Cancer concentrates on the most important information that people affected by lung cancer need from day one of their diagnosis.


  • Approximately 20% of the American Lung Association’s research funding supports lung cancer. We fund research that is directed toward improved methods of early detection and new treatments. One such project is taking place at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore. With support from donors, Christopher George Slatore, MD, is Examining the Role of Depression in Lung Cancer Care.
  • Donate online to support lung health research, as well as our advocacy and health education efforts.


  • Ensuring that lung cancer is a national health concern is one of our priorities. In November, the American Lung Association called on our Take Action Network to contact their legislators with a message to invest in lung cancer research. Speaking with your elected officials about issues that are important to you, such as tobacco prevention and control, healthy air and lung cancer, is one of the best ways to make your voice count. If you haven’t already, please join our Take Action Network.

Grammy Winners

Raising Funds, Having Fun!     

Looking to be entertained, get in shape, or meet new people? We have a variety of opportunities to help you meet your personal goals, all while supporting a great cause—healthy lungs and clean air!

  • Fight for Air Stairclimbs: Join us Sunday, January 27 in Portland, or Saturday, April 27, in Boise! The Lung Association hosts over 60 of these exciting events in cities across the country. Stairclimbing is a fun activity that underscores our need for healthy lungs and clean air – if you haven’t yet tried it, sign up today – form a team of family, friends or co-workers!
  • Breathe Concert, Honolulu: Do you hear the trade winds calling? On Friday, February 15, award-winning Hawaiian entertainers will come together at the historic Hawaii Theatre to perform and raise awareness of the importance of healthy lungs and clean air. This year’s concert will feature Grammy award winners Daniel Ho and Tia Carrere. Reserve your ticket today!
  • Breathe Boot Camp, Seattle: Join us the 2nd Wednesday of each month for a fun, fast 40-50 minute workout with certified trainers, followed by happy hour courtesy of local restaurants. Register online today!
  • Big Ride Across America (June 17-August 3, 2013) –Registration is now open for Big Ride 2013! Join us for a life-changing seven-week, 3,300-mile bicycle ride from Seattle, Wash., to Washington D.C. to raise funds and awareness for the American Lung Association in Washington’s critical research, education and advocacy programs.


Stairclimb ParticipantThank you to all of the participants, donors and volunteers from our recent events!

  • Breathe Easy Breakfast, Anchorage – The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium was honored in November with the annual “Breathe Easy Champion” award, which is given to individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to advance lung health and ensure that all Alaskans can breathe freely.
  • Fight for Air Climb, Seattle – Hundreds of supporters took to the stairs in October to raise funds for healthy lungs and clean air. A new highlight this year was the Halloween-themed Fight for Air “Scare” Climb for kids.
  • Breathe Boot Camp, Seattle - Thank you to everyone who helped kick off this new event in October! We had great exercise sessions in October and November, and look forward to more motivating workouts in future months. 

Montana Researcher Research Spotlight: Montana

The American Lung Association Funds New Study of the Effects of Wood Smoke on Lung Immunology

Dr. Christopher Migliaccio’s work is shaped by western Montana’s wildfires, winter inversions and air pollution. In many of Montana’s mountain towns, as well as other states where wood use is high, particulates from wood smoke impact lung health. Dr. Migliaccio’s latest research determines how macrophages, the main immune cell and first line of defense in the lung, interact with wood smoke at different levels of exposure.

Macrophages usually engulf inhaled particulates and clear them from the lungs. However, some particulates can kill or alter the function of macrophages. One such exposure may be wood smoke inhalation from wood stoves, forest fires, and cooking. In countries where women and children are regularly exposed to smoke from cooking stoves, there is a significant increase in respiratory infections.

Dr. Migliaccio has found that in mice, there is a similar decrease in bacterial removal from the lungs following inhalation of wood smoke. Additional work suggested a decrease in macrophage functions as a potential cause.

His latest research will deepen the understanding of the health effects of wood smoke and its adverse effects on the lung’s immune response. It will help differentiate the effects of seasonal exposure to wood smoke (experienced by communities with lingering forest fires), extreme periods of exposure (experienced by wildland fire fighters), and singular events. The study could also produce powerful targets for therapeutic treatments of smoke exposures.

This latest research, funded by the American Lung Association, will contribute to our knowledge of wood smoke’s impacts on lung functioning –increasingly important as wildfire seasons increase due to climate change.

The mission of the American Lung Association is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy. Together, we raised over $5 million dollars for lung disease research last year.

Donate online to support lung health research, as well as our advocacy and health education efforts.


The SuchaneksIs the American Lung Association at the Top of Your Charitable Giving List?  
During this giving season, make sure to include the American Lung Association on the top of your list to support this year. Every  dollar is vital to our organization and helps us bring our mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease—closer to reality.

Ron Suchanek and Jen Rahn have the
American Lung Association
at the
top of their charitable giving list

Call us today or donate online. We also take donations of stocks or used vehicles and you can honor or commemorate a loved one with your gift. Whichever way you choose to support us, your gift could save you taxes this year.
Another way to support us is to include the American Lung Association in your estate plans and become a member of the Emily Bissell Heritage Society. Long-time volunteer and supporter, Ron Suchanek and wife Jen Rahn, have done just that. The Lung Association’s mission is close to Ron’s heart. His father passed away from lung cancer several years ago. Ron also works as a respiratory therapist at Providence Medical Center in Portland, Ore. “I have seen the devastating effect of lung disease through my work and personal experience with my dad. By including the Lung Association in my estate plans, I’m helping to ensure that my work today continues even when my wife and I are gone,” says Ron.
Please consider the American Lung Association when making your year-end gifts. Thank you!


Thank you to our featured Title Sponsor of the 2013 Kaiser Permanente Fight for Air Climb in Portland:

Kaiser Permanente