Lung Cancer Survivor Powers Through Detroit Zoo

Daughter supports mother undergoing treatment, both will participate in LUNG FORCE Walk on Oct. 2nd

Alonzita Henderson will participate for the first time in the American Lung Association in Michigan’s LUNG FORCE Walk at the Detroit Zoo on October 2, 2022.

Her daughter, Katrina Smith, wanted to learn more about her mom’s disease and the support she could receive. She searched the internet and came across the LUNG FORCE Walk and immediately formed a team in honor of her mom who was diagnosed with lung cancer last year at the age of 67. Alonzita has successfully completed both chemotherapy and radiation therapy and is now undergoing lung cancer immunotherapy.  

This past August, Alonzita and Katrina attended the Detroit LUNG FORCE Walk kickoff celebration where they learned why the event is so important to the nearly 1.5 million people in Michigan living with lung disease and the 8,720 individuals in the state expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2022, and how they can get involved. This year, Alonzita, along with her family, friends, coworkers and support network are participating in the Walk for the first time.

“It’s a blessing to be able to walk with my family, friends, coworkers and support network at this event,” said Henderson. “As a survivor of lung cancer, I would like to help make a difference in the lives of others who have also been impacted by this disease.” Her daughter is captain of Team Ms. Alon, and collectively, they have raised over $1,300.      

Hundreds of participants will enjoy a 1.5-mile route through the Detroit Zoo on Sunday morning before it opens to the public. Detroit’s annual LUNG FORCE Walk raises awareness and funding for lifesaving research, local programs and advocacy. While there is no cost to register, the Lung Association encourages all participants to fundraise a minimum of $100 per person. Those funds will support the mission of the Lung Association and offset the costs of Zoo admission and parking. For those who cannot attend the event, the Lung Association is offering a virtual “Walk Your Way” option.

For more information, and to register, visit

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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