Why We Walk
We walk for people. For patients and their loved ones. For colleagues and neighbors. For everyone affected by lung disease. We walk because together we can defeat lung cancer and lung disease one step at a time.
What is a LUNG FORCE Hero?
LUNG FORCE Heroes are patients, caregivers, family, friends and co-workers of those who are impacted by lung cancer. Our Heroes share their powerful journeys — stories which help educate the public about what it's like to have lung cancer or lung disease. Heroes may also be asked to speak at a LUNG FORCE Walk Kick-off event, Corporate Recruitment event and/or on Walk day.
If you're interested in becoming a LUNG FORCE Hero, please contact Season Oltmann for more information. We also invite you to Share Your Voice and read about other Heroes' experiences too. Everyone's story is unique, and we appreciate you getting involved and becoming a LUNG FORCE Hero!
Read why these LUNG FORCE Heroes walk.
LUNG FORCE Heroes Jamie B. and Her Dad
This is Why I Walk...
January 1, 2001 my Dad finally quit smoking for the last time. He had a cough and so many people said that it was probably just his lungs clearing out. After months of a persistent cough that seemed to only get worse we told him to see a doctor.
When he went in they took an x-ray. The Doctor came back with the results he said, "You're going to have to do something you've never done before. You need to call an oncologist and tell them that you need to be seen right away because your Doctor said you have lung cancer!"
Shortly after he was scheduled for a biopsy. The results were as expected he had lung cancer. Somewhere around October he had 1/3 of his left lung removed.
He did well for quite sometime before the headaches started. Then he started getting seizures in his left leg. So he went in again. It had metastasized to his brain(never came back anywhere else). He refused to have surgery but tried several other treatments that at first worked but then didn't. Eventually there was nothing they could do. He was placed on hospice.
He passed away February 28, 2004 surrounded by all his closest friends and family. He was just 45 years old and I was 20. He missed my wedding by one month! My husband and I were married on March 27, 2004.
LUNG FORCE Heroes Jon Emerick & Randy Higa
Randy and Jon were patrol partners for years. They were both diagnosed with lung cancer within several months of each other. Both fought the disease. By the grace of God, Randy survived, but Jon did not. Both are fathers, husband, sons, brothers, beloved friends and co-workers... and so many more things to so many more people. The Strong4Jon/Heroes4Higa LUNG FORCE Walk Seattle team, lead by Jon's daughter Lauren, fundraises year after year to help someday find a cure. Or even better yet, a way to prevent lung diseases.
Randy and his wife, Sandra, also participated in the 2021 LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day, asking members of Congress to support funding for the NIH and CDC, while also asking them to ensure that everyone has affordable, adequate and accessible healthcare.