November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, and St. Augustine is wanting to make sure that everyone who suffers from the disease, or knows someone that does, finds hope, support and compassion. That's why they are holding the 5th annual Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil on November 14.
The Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil in St. Augustine is a part of a national event which the Lung Cancer Alliance say provides the community with hope, support and compassion for those impacted by lung cancer and those at risk. They say everyone can benefit, from a survivor to the newly diagnosed to loved ones to healthcare professionals to those simply wanting to help.
The vigil began in 2006, when Diane Legg, a co-founder of the organizations New England chapter and a survivor, hosted a vigil on the steps of the Capitol in Boston. That night, she realized how much need there was and decided to grow the vigil with a vigil to grow it nationally.
In St. Augustine, Pat Dunn, a lung cancer survivor says the group wants to raise awareness of Lung Cancer in the community.
"It's to get people together just for support," Dunn says. "So they know there's other people out there and just to raise the awareness of lung cancer so that we can fight the disease and raise money for research."
Dunn says the free event also brings together the community, shows compassion and support, and allows survivors to interact with other survivors and health care professionals.
Dunn says that support is vital.
"Its very important for caregivers to have a lot of support also because its very hard to be a caregiver," Dunn says. "But it's also important for the people going through it because there's not a lot of awareness for lung cancer."
Dunn says it's also important to help erase the stigma Lung Cancer often carries.
"Many people still say oh you did it to yourself which is just not true," Dunn says. "80 percent of the people who have lung cancer were either never smoked or are previous smokers, so it's not just a smokers disease at all."
In addition to this event, nationally the Lung Cancer alliance provides professional and peer to peer support for those impacted by lung cancer, secures federal and state research funding for lung cancer, and raises awareness for lung cancer through events, awareness campaigns and medical outreach.
If you want to participate in the Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event at Flagler Hospital, it's coming up on November 14 at 4:30 pm. The address is 400 Health Park Blvd, suite 10-10
For more information you can call them at 904-819-4693 or visit www.staugstinevigil.kinera.org