BUFFALO, NY | August 25, 2020
The American Lung Association is launching its 3rd annual LUNG FORCE Walk Buffalo, presented this year by Independent Health, as a virtual fundraising event. Beginning with a virtual opening ceremony on August 31, 2020, participants will engage in team-oriented activities running through October 2, 2020. Participants are invited to advocate for lung health by signing petitions, honoring loved ones affected by lung disease, spreading awareness and completing the one-mile LUNG FORCE walk right in their own neighborhood—all while continuing to raise funds for lung cancer and lung disease research. Walkers, as well as those completing the one-mile achievement through other physical means, are encouraged to share their journeys and activities on the LUNG FORCE Walk Buffalo Facebook group for a chance to win prizes. The event will conclude with a highlight reel of the virtual event including prizes for participants and awards for top fundraisers, top teams and more.
This virtual event enables hundreds of registrants from all over the state of New York to come together and raise funds supporting life-saving research as well as providing education and advocacy for lung cancer, lung diseases such as COPD, asthma and pulmonary fibrosis and respiratory illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia and now COVID-19. A portion of the funds raised during the virtual LUNG FORCE Walk Buffalo will help support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative; a $25 million initiative to end COVID-19 and prevent future respiratory virus pandemics.
“We’re grateful for the participants that will join us in the virtual event in support of lung disease research. Now more than ever is when our community needs to come together, virtually, to end COVID-19, lung cancer and all lung disease. This is a way that we can do that right here in New York,” said Kaelyn Gates, development director of the Lung Association in Western New York.
The COVID-19 Action Initiative will be used to expand the Lung Association’s ongoing respiratory research program, enhance key public health measures, and establish an advanced network to stop future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative will also work with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.
Adam Stopa, Lung Force Walk team captain and Physician Engagement Specialist for Independent Health, said, “Independent Health associates are excited to participate in this year’s Lung Force Walk both as participants and RedShirt volunteers to support groundbreaking research, advocacy and critical education by the American Lung Association to improve the quality of life for more than 36 million Americans diagnosed with lung disease, including COVID-19.”
In order to make this year’s event as interactive as possible, the Lung Association will be utilizing the LUNG FORCE Walk Buffalo Facebook group to celebrate participants, milestones and LUNG FORCE Hero stories. Each week organizers will release a challenge activity from their Action Passport, leaving those completing the challenge eligible for prizes. Each registrant will complete their walks on their own time and at the location of their choice. Every walker is encouraged to check local park openings and maintain social distancing. You can also log in your distance at home by climbing a staircase, using the treadmill or taking a walk around the neighborhood.
“Through our shared mission to improve the health and lives of those throughout Western New York, Independent Health is proud to once again raise funds and awareness for the annual Lung Force Walk to benefit the American Lung Association and its efforts on behalf of lung disease patients and their caregivers,” said Patricia Clabeaux, Chair of American Lung Association Buffalo Leadership Board and Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resource Officer of Independent Health.
The virtual LUNG FORCE Walk Buffalo, Presented by Independent Health, is also sponsored locally by Guardant Health, Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center, Western New York Immediate Care, AstraZeneca Oncology, Windsong Radiology, Clark & Company Wealth Management, and Hospice Buffalo.
REGISTRATION: Participation is free. However, LUNG FORCE Walk is a fundraising event and all participants are encouraged to raise donations to support lung disease research including the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative, and early detection, advocacy, education and awareness for lung cancer. All participants to raise or donate $100 or more receive an Official LUNG FORCE Walk t-shirt. To register, visit lungforce.org/buffalo. For questions or additional event information, contact Alexis Gigliello at [email protected]
For media interested in speaking with a lung health expert or advocate, a LUNG FORCE hero or scheduling an interview and requesting images, contact Jennifer Solomon at 516-680-8927 or [email protected]
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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