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Lung Association Honors Volunteers during National Volunteer Week

(April 12, 2016) - Detroit, MI

The American Lung Association was built on America's spirit of community that inspires us to work together for better health and longer life for all. In honor of National Volunteer Week, the American Lung Association in Michigan recognizes volunteers who share the vision of a world free of lung disease, including local volunteer Hector Marquez.

"Breathing is essential to life. Every day, and from our first breath to our last, lung health and healthy air is critical," said Beckie Galvin, Director of Volunteer Services for the American Lung Association in Michigan. "We all have this in common, and it's what rallies the strength of our volunteer grassroots network."

A variety of volunteers fuel the Lung Association's work, from the Board of Directors and regional and state leadership to LUNG FORCE Heroes, Freedom From Smoking and Better Breathers Club group facilitators and event volunteers. This includes local volunteers like Hector Marquez.

Hector, who innovates new information products and experiences for automotive companies in Detroit, has always enjoyed a physical challenge. Unfortunately, after an accident ten years ago, He tore every ligament in his knee. After several surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, he was finally able to walk again.

Hector had to rethink his approach to physical activity. Instead of participating in races and climbs, he began volunteering to help make the events special for others. "Working events with the American Lung Association is a wonderful way to get me out from behind my computer and participating in my own way."

Since 2015, Hector has helped the American Lung Association in Detroit with both the Fight for Air Climb and the LUNG FORCE walk.

"We greatly value Hector Marquez, who truly embraces our mission and works passionately at every opportunity," said Galvin. "It's dedicated volunteers like Hector that help us both connect with and support those who suffer from lung disease in our communities."

As the oldest American voluntary health organization, the American Lung Association has a long history of partnering with philanthropic citizens. The Lung Association was founded in 1904 in response to the threat of tuberculosis (TB), the leading cause of death at that time. With the belief that a national association should be something more than a medical society and driven by the idea that all individuals could do something about tuberculosis, the Lung Association was the first to combine the energies of physicians and laypersons in the fight against death and disease.

Now, with TB largely controlled in the U.S., the American Lung Association continues to partner with volunteers nationwide to improve lung health and prevent lung disease for all Americans. This includes 32 million Americans and 1,235,000 Michigan residents who have lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

"Whether you or someone you love has lung disease, we can all benefit from improving lung health and preventing lung disease, and building a diverse, active and engaged pool of volunteers is integral to the success of this shared goal," Galvin said.

The American Lung Association needs reliable volunteers to help us create a healthier world, free of lung disease. Opportunities are available for a variety of interests and skills, learn more at

For media interested in learning more about our volunteers or speaking with an expert about lung health, contact the American Lung Association in Michigan at [email protected] or 1-800-LUNGUSA.

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