Breathe Deep NEPA event raises funds for lung cancer research

By Roger DuPuis - [email protected]
Alli Connell, of Exeter, and her dog Harvey walk in the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Event coordinator Pauline Makowski welcomes runners and walkers to the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park, held in the memory of her husband Allan, who died of stage 4 lung cancer in 2009. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Runners take off to begin the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Nearly 200 people came to Kirby Park on Sunday to combat a killer.

Now in its eighth year, the annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K run/walk honors represents his loved ones’ commitment both to honor their loved one’s memory and raising funds for LUNGevity, a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting early diagnosis and treatment research.

“It was a great loss for me,” said organizer Pauline Makowski, whose husband, Allan Makowski Sr., died of stage 4 lung cancer in June 2009. “I wanted to do something to celebrate his life, but I also hoped we could do something to help and support others.”

The Makowski family’s struggle is one one many American families know all too well.

Lung cancer accounts for 25 percent of all cancer deaths in this country, claiming 154,000 lives annually, according to LUNGevity statistics — more than the next three most common cancers combined — yet the disease receives only 6 percent of all federal research dollars.

And Northeastern Pennsylvania is an area with an above-average rate of lung cancer, organizers of Breathe Deep NEPA point out.

While Makowski said she is still tallying how much Sunday’s event raised, those wishing to support the cause can still make donations through the group’s website, at https://lungevity.org/nepa.

Alli Connell, of Exeter, and her dog Harvey walk in the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL062518breathedeep_1.jpgAlli Connell, of Exeter, and her dog Harvey walk in the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Event coordinator Pauline Makowski welcomes runners and walkers to the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park, held in the memory of her husband Allan, who died of stage 4 lung cancer in 2009.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL062518breathedeep_5.jpgEvent coordinator Pauline Makowski welcomes runners and walkers to the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park, held in the memory of her husband Allan, who died of stage 4 lung cancer in 2009. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Runners take off to begin the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL062518breathedeep_2.jpgRunners take off to begin the eighth annual Breathe Deep NEPA 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park on Sunday morning. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Roger DuPuis

[email protected]