Community Rallies Behind Woman with Lung Cancer; Local Businesses Host Fundraising Events

Businesses and individuals throughout the Columbus area are showing support for a local woman who is fighting lung cancer. There will be two local fundraisers to support “Taura Strong,” the Fight For Air Climb at Rhodes Tower team started for Taura Auddino to raise money for lung cancer awareness and research.

Taura is a healthy, active woman who never smoked, so the lung cancer diagnoses shocked her and her family. In early 2017, she developed a respiratory illness that wouldn’t go away. Doctors thought she had pneumonia or bronchitis, but when none of the treatments worked, they biopsied part of her lungs. In September 2018, she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. The cancer had spread to both of her lungs.

“It [the lung cancer diagnosis] was shocking, it was scary and we were all angry,” said Carley Auddino, Taura’s daughter. “There were a lot of different emotions. When we heard stage IV, we wondered how much time she had. No one knew what to expect.”

Taura now gets chemotherapy infusions every three weeks. Besides the side effects of treatment and a persistent cough, she is doing well. Although she doesn’t know how much time she has left due to the lung cancer, she keeps a positive attitude. She hopes to inspire others with lung cancer and lung disease to keep fighting and never give up.

Recently, the Auddino family heard about the American Lung Association in Ohio’s Fight For Air Climb at Rhodes Tower on TV, and decided to sign up to raise money and awareness to fight lung cancer.

“Being the oldest child in the family, I am always looking for things to do to boost my mom’s spirits and remind her that she has a community supporting her,” said Carley. “The Fight For Air Climb is something fun to motivate us to get active. The research and awareness funding is very important to me because I didn’t realize how many people are affected by lung cancer.”

Now, Taura’s family and the local community are coming together to support her. The Fight For Air Climb Team, Taura Strong, already has 15 members and has raised more than $2,900. Local businesses are getting involved as well. Cappy’s Pizza in London and Lucky’s Grille in Hilliard are both throwing fundraisers for Taura Strong in February.

“From the time I was diagnosed all the way until today, I can’t believe how much support I have received from my friends, family and the community. It’s not until a crisis like this hits that you realize how loved and cared for you truly are,” said Taura.

Media is welcome to attend one or both of these local events, take photos and video, and interview the Auddino family:
Cappy’s Pizza Fundraiser

  • Location: Cappy’s Pizza, 225 Lafayette St, London, OH 43140
  • Date: Saturday, February 8
  • Time: 12 – 4 p.m.
  • Details: The fundraising event will include several gift baskets to be raffled off with all funds going to Team Taura Strong. The gift baskets include local sports team tickets, local sports merchandise, The Ohio State University gear and more.

Lucky’s Grille Fundraiser

  • Location: Lucky’s Grille, 5387 Roberts Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026
  • Date: Thursday, February 6
  • Time: 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Details: For the fundraiser at Lucky’s Grille, 15% of the proceeds made that evening will go to Team Taura Strong. Additionally, the event will include several gift baskets to be raffled off with all funds going to Team Taura Strong. The gift baskets include local sports team tickets, local sports merchandise, The Ohio State University gear and more.

“Supporting the American Lung Association is very important because there needs to be more funding and awareness for lung cancer. There is also a big stigma around lung cancer that the person smoked so they deserved it. Cancer doesn’t care who you are. Anyone can get lung cancer,” said Carley. “It is important to show people who are facing lung disease and lung cancer that there are people willing to support them.”

The Fight For Air Climb at Rhodes Tower, set for February 15, invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to race up the stairs of Rhodes Tower, a total of 40 floors, 880 steps. To learn more about the Fight For Air Climb, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Columbus.

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