DOVER, DE | September 24, 2020
The American Lung Association has announced that the first-ever Virtual LUNG FORCE Walk – Rehoboth will take place from October 5-11. Previously, the event was held at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, but was re-imagined as an exciting virtual experience to promote physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participants can walk or run whatever distance they are comfortable with wherever they are—a neighborhood, a local hiking trail, or a treadmill! At the same time the Lung Association will be transforming the popular LUNG FORCE Action Passport activities from the Walk day into virtual passport challenges.
Money raised at the Virtual LUNG FORCE Walk will fund the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support he 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.
“People who live with lung diseases like asthma, lung cancer, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis are at a high risk for severe complications of COVID-19. For that reason, we are launching our first-ever Virtual LUNG FORCE Walk to ensure the safety of all our participants, staff and volunteers,” said Dina Gordon, executive director for the Lung Association in Delaware. “Because of the global pandemic, it is more important than ever to support lung health.”
This year’s LUNG FORCE Hero is Wilmington resident Cristina Kalesse, who is walking in honor of her late husband Rob. “In February of 2019 my husband, Rob Kalesse, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Rob was a LUNG FORCE Hero and shared in his speech at last year’s walk, that knowing an organization like the American Lung Association had his back gave him hope. In January of 2020 Rob passed, and I strive to carry on his legacy and belief that there is hope for those battling lung cancer. This year we walk in honor of him and to support the American Lung Association's lung disease research innovations to improve prevention, detection and treatment options so that everyone has a fighting chance,” said Kalesse.
During this challenging time, it’s important for all those living with lung cancer and lung disease, including COVID-19, to feel hope, optimism, and support. “Lung disease doesn’t stop, and neither can we. While his year’s Walk will be different, we’re excited to see our participants get moving and get creative with how they support lung health. Whether it’s by walking, running, or biking—we’ll work together to raise critical funds and awareness,” said Gordon.
The Virtual LUNG FORCE Walk – Rehoboth brings together a healthy activity with a greater purpose. Register today and post your pictures and videos on social media using #LUNGFORCE and #WalkAgainstCOVID.
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and 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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