Reporting Gigi Barnett
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Much of the action at Oriole Park happens on the diamond, but organizers of a 5K walk/run decided to stick to the outfield. As Gigi Barnett explains, hundreds of supporters turned out at Oriole Park Saturday to bring attention to the most common form of cancer.
A trek around the diamond at Camden Yards takes many steps and deep breaths. It’s a stroll some lung cancer patients can’t take. That’s why the LUNGevity Foundation teamed up to host the “Breathe Deep Baltimore 5K this weekend.
“Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought something like this would happen to me,” said Monica Barlow.
Barlow is the Orioles’ director of public relations and a lung cancer survivor. She says doctors gave her the diagnosis three years ago at one of the healthiest times in her life.
“I have no family history of cancer,” Barlow said. “I’m not a smoker. I was 100 percent healthy prior to this diagnosis and in fact, [I was] training for a half marathon when I was diagnosed with lung cancer.”
Johns Hopkins physician Dr. Charlie Rudin says that’s the problem with lung cancer. It’s one of the most common forms of the disease and because of the smoker’s stigma attached to it, money for research just isn’t there.
“We have no lack of good ideas. We actually have many new drugs that are very exciting. What we really need is money to drive research forward,” Rudin said.
This is the first time an event of its size and its kind has been hosted inside Oriole Park. The organizers say they hope it won’t be the last.
More than 500 people participated in this weekend’s LUNGevity walk and at least a dozen survivors were honored.