Former Douglas Resident Remembers Her Mom as She Races Up Boston Place for Lung Association

Kayla Marot climbs to honor her mother, Joanne Marot, who was lost to lung cancer

(November 16, 2012)

On Saturday, February 2, the American Lung Association of the Northeast will host its 8th annual “Race Up Boston Place” Fight for Air Climb.  Kayla Marot, who grew up in Douglas, will be one of the 1,400 participants participating in the event that raises money to support the Lung Association’s mission to save lives. It is a mission that will always remain very important to Kayla; she was only 13 years old when she lost her mother, Joanne, to lung cancer. Kayla’s recalls that her mother’s diagnosis came as a shock to the entire family because Joanne had never smoked.

“My mom had a tickle in her throat and she didn’t think it was anything to be very concerned with at the time,” recalls Kayla.  “When she did get it checked out by her family doctor, she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Her diagnosis came a month to the day after we had moved into our new home in Douglas.  My mom was gone less than a year after her diagnosis. It was devastating.”

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the single leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States. The American Lung Association is working hard to reduce the stigma of this disease; no one deserves lung cancer. While smoking is responsible for approximately 90% of lung cancer cases, other causes include radon exposure and industrial exposures to hazardous materials like asbestos and arsenic; even some genetic factors pose a lung cancer risk.

“While my mom was a nonsmoker, the most important message I want to get out there to people is to never start smoking, or to do everything they can to quit if they’ve already started,” says Marot.  “Smoking remains the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer. This is a horrible disease and so many lives are affected when a person is diagnosed.  I want people to do everything in their power to reduce their risk.”

Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast said, “Millions of people in the Northeast are living with lung cancer and other lung diseases, and countless more family members and loved ones are affected by their diagnoses. The American Lung Association is committed to reducing the burden of lung disease on all Americans through education, advocacy and research.”

Federal funding for lung cancer research falls dramatically behind funding for cancers like breast, colon and prostate; yet the 5-year survival rate is just 15%. The American Lung Association funds nationwide research that focuses on preventing lung cancer, increasing the survival rate and reducing its effects on patients’ quality of life.  The nonprofit organization is funding several research projects, as reported in the recently released Research Awards Nationwide 2012-2013. A full report of all American Lung Association funded research is available at


More than 1,400 are expected to race, run or walk up the 789 stairs of One Boston Place in support of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. The eighth annual “Race Up Boston Place” is generously sponsored by CB Richard Ellis, Captivate Network, Poland Spring, 100.7 WZLX Boston, and Boston’s Mix 104.1. The event is also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare. The American Lung Association reinvests 79 cents on every dollar to support research, education and advocacy related to lung disease and lung health. For more information about the event or to make a donation that can save lives, visit

Kayla Marot’s team is named Stairway to Heaven.  The team of friends and coworkers raised nearly $1,300 last year and is looking to surpass that number in 2013.  To make a contribution to Kayla’s team, click here

To learn more about lung cancer, visit:

To learn more about the Lung Association’s Guidance on Lung Cancer Screening, visit: