Indiana Family Raises $1M in Memory of Courtney Cox Cole

Money will fund lifesaving research to end lung disease

The American Lung Association is kicking off November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, by celebrating the efforts of the late Courtney Cox Cole’s family and friends who helped raise $1M for research.


The effort started last year when Cole’s family partnered with the Lung Association to create the Courtney Cox Cole Endowed Lung Cancer Research Fund to honor her memory and help find a cure for lung cancer.


Cole, who never smoked a day in her life, was diagnosed with EGFR-mutant lung cancer in 2014, a month after completing a marathon. The Noblesville native was a mother of two, an All-American athlete in Basketball and Golf at Indiana University, and co-owner of Hare Chevrolet, one of the most successful car dealerships in the country, when she passed away in 2019 at the age of 48.


To honor her life and legacy, her family and friends recently helped fund a $1 million research endowment. “My mother made the most out of every day of her life,” said her daughter, Cayla Cole. “She inspired countless lung cancer patients and families impacted by the disease as she fought it.”


Wei Tao, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston was awarded the inaugural Courtney Cox Cole Lung Cancer Research Award for his research on new combination therapies to treat lung cancer using tiny nanoparticles to deliver experimental drugs through inhalation.


“Anyone can get lung disease, and no one deserves it, and we hope the Research Award will help move us closer to finding a cure,” said Cayla Cole. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and more must be done to end it so no other child or person has to lose their mother or loved one.”


Every two and a half minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer, while 922,000 Hoosiers are living with lung disease making the need for lifesaving research critical.


For more information about the Courtney Cole Research Fund and to donate, click here.


If you’d like an interview with Cayla Cole or Courtney’s sister, Monica Peck, please contact Janye Killelea with requests at [email protected] or call (312) 940-7624.


Get involved and help the mission of American Lung Association. The Fight For Air Climb Indianapolis is coming up this spring on March 9. Learn more at

For more information, contact:

Janye Killelea
[email protected]

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