My name is Howard Mark Switalla and I'm the captain of Linda's Pedal Pushers.
On June 8, 9, & 10th we will be riding 50 miles a day in the Lake Tour Bike Trek.
In 2006 I created the team when I was only 9 years old in honor of my Aunt, Linda Linker who had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in December of 2005. It was a complete shock to us as Linda never smoked a day in her life. Linda was a wonderful friend, a great teacher, a loving mother, grandmother and wife. She was the best Aunt anyone could ask for. She was taken from us way too soon by this ugly disease.
Linda would be thrilled on how our team has evolved from that first year of just my dad and me. But she would also be so disappointed that we are not making greater strides in finding a cure for this disease that took her and countless others away from their loved ones way too soon.
1 in 15 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime - 1 in 14 men and 1 in 17 women.
In 2016, 224,390 people were diagnosed with lung cancer.
Every 2 ½ minutes someone in the U.S. is told that they have lung cancer.
It’s a sad reality, that so many will get this life altering diagnosis of lung cancer. Sadder yet, is given the state of lung cancer research, diagnosis and treatments available they will be lucky to have a five year survival rate.
It seems like lung cancer is the “dirty little secret”, to be swept under the rug. Most of the general public still perceives that the only people who get lung cancer are smokers or smokers who have quit. They have the mentality that those diagnosised with lung cancer "deserve it". Even sadder, is the fact that statistics show otherwise, 10-15% of people with lung cancer never smoked a day of their life.
Two thirds of non-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer are women.
Every 3.3 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies of lung cancer.
Among women, the lifetime risk of dying from lung cancer is 82% greater than the risk of dying from breast cancer.
5-year survival rate for breast cancer from 2007-13 is 90% - up from 75% from 1975-77.
5-year survival rate for prostate cancer from 2007-13 is 99% - up from 68% from 1975-77.
5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer from 2007-13 is 65% - up from 50% from 1975-1977.
5-year survival rate for lung cancer from 2007-13 is 18% - up from 12% from 1975-77.
For Stage I lung cancer only half of those diagnosed this year will still be alive 5 years later. If you're diagnosed with Stage IV the survival rate is only 4%.
Lung cancer survival rates are not rising as quickly as other cancer survival rates are. This is due in fact to the funding for research.
Private funding for lung cancer research is sadly lagging behind and federal funding is not much better. Federal funding for other common cancers still overshadows that for lung cancer, which receives a mere $2,399.00 for every death compared to $24,061.00 per death for breast cancer, $14,533.00 for prostate cancer & $7372.00 for colorectal cancer.
You can make a difference by donating. In the amount of time it takes to breath in and out a dozen times, you can click on the donate link and make a tax deductible donation. So that some day we will find a cure and no one will lose a loved one to this dreadful disease ever again.
No amount is too small, every single dollar counts. It all adds up.
Please help me reach my goal with a tax deductible donation in support of the American Lung Association, to help raise funds for this important cause.
Thank you for your support of clean air and healthy lungs!