Kristine Crane /March 7, 2013
Many people in their 20s are too busy complaining about their parents to think about what it would be like to lose them. But for Ginny Lawrimore, 29, of Gainesville, that message hit home when her mother, Janet, was diagnosed two years ago with non-small-cell lung cancer.
Lawrimore found a group of people who understood her at last year’s Run Amuck with the Duck 5K run/walk for lung cancer awareness at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville.
“Most people my age don’t have a parent who’s ill and don’t know what to say,” Lawrimore said. “With the 5K, everybody knows exactly what you are going through.” This year, Lawrimore has organized one of the 20-some teams for Saturday’s race, which marks its fourth year. Each year, the race has brought in between $40,000 and $60,000, which funds lung cancer research sponsored by an organization based in California called the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.
This year, $37,520 has been raised so far, and the goal is $50,000, said Caren Gorenberg, the founder of the race and its co-organizer. Gorenberg named the race after the stuffed duck her son gave her shortly after her own diagnosis with non-small-cell lung cancer in 2006. Gorenberg and co-organizer Sandy Solomon are emblematic of a growing trend of lung cancer diagnoses in female non-smokers. Their third organizer, Dianne Caridi, who died last year of NSCLC at age 42, and in whose memory this year’s race will be run, was also a non-smoker — and a nine-time collegiate All-American swimmer.
NSCLC is increasingly hitting non-smokers and is distinct from small-cell lung cancer, which is most commonly associated with smoking.