DOVER, DE | August 26, 2021
The American Lung Association in Delaware announced that registration is now open for its annual LUNG FORCE Walk Rehoboth. After being moved online last year, due to COVID-19, the beloved community event will take place at Rehoboth Beach Grandstand. as an outdoor, in-person event on Sunday, October 17, 2021, beginning at 10 a.m. The event will support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases, lung cancer and COVID-19. All participants will be required to follow current Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local guidelines.
The LUNG FORCE Walk Rehoboth is in its 8th year, with in-person participants starting at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand and completing a scenic 2.1 walk along the boardwalk, by scenic Lake Gerar and Silver Lake. The event includes a one mile and 1/3-mile walking route for those unable to walk the full 2.1 miles. Registrants can also opt to “Walk Your Way,” and participate by walking in their own neighborhoods, tracking their activity online through the LUNG FORCE app (available for Android or iPhone). In addition to the Walk, the event will include an array of interactive activities that promote lung-health awareness. All registered participants for both virtual and in-person options are encouraged to join the event’s Facebook group.
“Through events like the LUNG FORCE Walk Rehoboth, we are able to continue our lifesaving work to improve air quality, educate residents on lung health and COVID-19, and support people who live with lung disease,” said Lynda Neef, development manager, American Lung Association in Delaware. “That mission has never been more important than it is today, and we are looking forward to rallying our LUNG FORCE community to advance this work that makes people’s lives better every day.”
Cristina Kalesse of Wilmington, DE, last year’s LUNG FORCE Walk Honoree and the top FY21 LUNG FORCE Walk fundraiser across the nation, will speak at the event and help honor other LUNG FORCE heroes. Kalesse, assistant principal at Alexis I. du Pont High School, raised $23,500 to support the American Lung Association’s mission in FY21; and with her “Warriors Never Quit” team, has raised an additional $36,000 since 2019. She became involved in LUNG FORCE when her husband Rob was first diagnosed, and he began working with the Lung Association to raise awareness and help others. Sadly, Rob passed away in January 2020 and Cristina continues his work to help save lives and support others who live with lung disease. Cristina will present the Rob Kalesse LUNG FORCE Spirit award (named in honor of her husband Rob) to this year’s LUNG FORCE Honoree.
“My involvement with LUNG FORCE started when we were given Rob’s devastating diagnosis of stage IV Metastatic lung cancer in 2019, and I found hope in the mission of the American Lung Association. In January 2020, after Rob passed away and my world - our world- changed, I have found comfort in the legacy and hope that Rob left behind. So, I want to share the message of hope every day as I proudly support the Lung Association and LUNG FORCE because ... warriors never quit. We will always have hope that we will defeat lung cancer and lung disease,” said Kalesse. Learn more about Cristina and Rob’s story at Lung.org.
Money raised at the LUNG FORCE Walk will support the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative. The COVID-19 Action Initiative is a $25 million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative works with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.
The LUNG FORCE Walk Rehoboth is sponsored by Green Energy Construction and Consulting and media sponsor is Froggy 99.9 Fm.
There is no registration fee for the event, but donations are encouraged. We recommend in-person walkers to register in advance. The registration deadline for the in-person event is October 16, 2021. More information and registration are available at LUNGFORCE.org/rehoboth.
Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with Kalesse or a lung health expert, contact [email protected] or 717-971-1123.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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