Lung Cancer Survivor Champions Breathe Deep on the Blue Bridge fundraiser for the American Lung Association

Savannah DeGraaf, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at 22, hopes the event will spread awareness about the Lung Association’s mission

Some say, “The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.” A Grand Rapids lung cancer survivor has found the right bridge to cross, and in the process burned cancer as well. The Breathe Deep on the Blue Bridge fundraiser, which will benefit the American Lung Association, takes place on July 15th in downtown Grand Rapids. Participants can look forward to yoga flows, local vendors, face painting, music and more at the event, which is being organized by local lung cancer survivor Savannah DeGraaf, who was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 22.

DeGraaf has participated in many Lung Association events before, including LUNG FORCE Walks in Detroit, but now she’s organizing a fundraiser of her own to spread awareness for the Lung Association and its programming.

“Anyone with lungs can suffer from lung cancer or lung disease, and I think the Lung Association does a great job with providing lots of resources. I had just graduated college, and a doctor found I had a tumor on my left lung that had probably been there for quite a while. The goal was just to remove the left lobe, but because my lymph nodes had cancer cells and because of the size of the tumor and where it was, they decided to remove the whole lung. It’s definitely been a journey, and I’m thankful that I was healthy and active because that definitely helped the recovery,” DeGraaf said.

Regarding her life post-diagnosis, DeGraaf is grateful she had the Lung Association’s resources to help her through her journey by providing her with a sense of community throughout the process.

“I wanted to know who else was going through this, and after doing a little research that’s when I stumbled upon the Lung Association. Getting involved with the events and the community made me feel so much less alone,” she said. “That’s why this fundraising event is all to support the Lung Association and their mission to save lives and help people live a healthier lifestyle. At the event, we’ll have lots of local vendors that support that healthy lifestyle, along with yoga flows and a massage therapist.”

 The Breathe Deep on the Blue Bridge fundraiser will take place on July 15th, 2023 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM on the Blue Bridge, which crosses the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. To learn more about the event or to make a donation, visit

For more information, contact:

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

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