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Mary Grace M., AL

Throughout various cancer treatments since 2002, maintaining a walking regimen has been important to me. During this past decade, I've trained for and completed a local half-marathon in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; other ongoing walking fund-raisers I've done include: the L&LS's Light the Night, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and the Komen Race for the Cure.

Yet, the air quality here is poor-- our state has a string of "F" grades on our report card-- and many citizens (like me) are actually homebound at times due to air quality that is considered unsafe for the young, the elderly, and for anyone with lung challenges. As a result, I've had to cut back my walking year after year.

Fortunately, Birmingham recently passed a strict anti-smoking ordinance, and for this I am thankful. However, our state leaders continue to ignore citizens' health needs by failing to pass anti-smoking laws. Clean air is essential to life.

First published: May 29, 2012

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