Lisa Winters

The 2010 Fight for Air Walk/Run was Lisa Winter’s first experience with the American Lung Association in Minnesota. Lisa inspired everyone with her story and her motivation for completing her first 5K run in honor of her father. Lisa raised over $600 and is committed to continuing her team support for the Fight for Air Walk. Recently Lisa received the Walk Champion award at the American Lung Association in Minnesota Volunteer Reception.

Lisa lost her father to lung cancer in 2007 at the young age of 61. Lisa was a smoker and quit after her father passed away. Here is the personal story she wrote for the association’s event newsletter:

“In 2007, my father passed away from lung cancer. He was only 61, and I was only 27. He didn’t get to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. He wasn’t there for the birth of my daughter. And he didn’t get to see me graduate college with my bachelor’s degree in nursing. All of these big events have happened in the last 4 years, and I’m sure there will be many other monumental moments that I wish he were still here to see. It would be very easy for me to feel bitter about having lost my dad at such a young age and having missed out on so many big moments in my life, but instead, I decided to try to do something positive about it.

My dad was a lifelong cigarette smoker, as well as myself and many other members of my family. Once I learned of my dad’s diagnosis, “terminal lung cancer,” I decided it was time to quit. Yes, my father and I knew smoking was bad for you and had many health risks, but we were in denial that it would happen to one of us. I am now a strong advocate for health and wellness, not just for smoking and lung disease, but also for fitness. I started running 2 years ago in preparation of the 2010 American Lung Association’s “Fighting for Air” 5K. It had been a longtime goal of mine to run a 5K and it was the perfect opportunity to run my very first 5K in memory of my dad, and in support of such an important and personal cause; fighting lung disease. I was able to push myself by thinking of all the people that are not able to run, for all the people that struggle to breathe, and for all the people that are not here anymore because of lung disease, including my dad. I never gave up and was able to cross that finish line with pride! I knew that my dad was with me the whole way cheering me on. Today, I still continue to run and it has become a huge passion of mine. It gives me time to myself to reflect on life and memories of my dad. I run because I can, but mostly, I run for all of those who can’t.”

 

Read about past Volunteers in the Spotlight here.