A RACE WORTH RUNNING! Kelcey Harrison is running from New York to San Francisco to Raise Funding for Lung Cancer Research through the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Jill's Legacy®

The 3,500 Mile Journey Continues to Keep Her Childhood Friend's Dream Alive: To Beat Lung Cancer for All People

Sep 04, 2012, 05:00 ET from Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 24-year-old Kelcey Harrison teamed up with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF), a patient-founded, patient-focused, patient-driven non-profit dedicated to ending Lung Cancer and its young people's movement: Jill's Legacy. Averaging 30-40 miles -- about 160,000 strides daily (ironically the number of people who die of Lung Cancer each year in the U.S.) -- Kelcey carries a symbolic torch with the message: ANYONE CAN GET LUNG CANCER. Even if you never smoked. Even if you're in your 20's. Kelcey is blazing a trail from New York to San Francisco to extinguish old myths about Lung Cancer. ANYONE CAN GET LUNG CANCER.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120904/DC67029 )

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110630/DC28681LOGO-b )

Check out the BJALCF and Jill's Legacy websites, Facebook and Twitter sites where a resounding message follows on the heels of The Great Lung Run daily asking #WhatCanYourLungsDo?. The question is inspiring others across the nation like Marissa Hagan, 7-year-old philanthropist in Wisconsin, who uses her lungs to sell her toys to raise funding for Lung Cancer research after losing her 52-year-old 1st-grade teacher. Sahil Patel uses his lungs to surgically remove Lung Cancer. After losing his mom, he came to intern at BJALCF, joined Jill's Legacy, and set his sights on becoming a Lung Cancer surgeon at UCLA. "I wish my mom had met Bonnie. She would have loved her. Lung Cancer has never seen anything like this before, in all honesty, so ... we're going to do some damage." So many young people are mobilizing in their loved ones' memories or to turn patients into survivors and END LUNG CANCER.

Kelcey kicked off the phenomenal feat on July 30th in Times Square. Her Great Lung Run across seven states so far is being chronicled in a series on Katie Couric's new website called "You're Running Across the Country? Are you crazy?"

"At first Kelcey came to me and said, 'I'm going to run across the country in honor of Jill, my dear childhood friend, and to really raise awareness for BJALCF and Jill's dream that ANYONE CAN GET LUNG CANCER and to BEAT IT!'" says Darby Anderson, Director of Jill's Legacy, "And I thought, you're crazy. She came back to me and said, 'I'm doing it. I'm going to raise awareness for Lung Cancer by doing something crazy with my lungs!'"

Is it crazy? Well, not to the people on Crowdrise who have donated half of the $250,000 goal so far. And not to the people who are lining up to run with her along the way. Families are hosting Kelcey in their homes and rising up to run with her. Cincinnati's Laura Merkel Deno's been "rocking" a pink tutu and running in every marathon she can find in memory of her dear friend Ali. "I met up with Kelcey today. I gave her a ride across the bridge into my hometown (no pedestrian traffic on the bridge). So glad to have been a part of her journey." The next day, Kirstie Kloepfer Craven said, "I'm hoping to run a mile with her tomorrow morning -- she is running right past my parents' house! She is running in honor of my Dad tomorrow." Yes. Kelcey is running in honor of Lung Cancer patients and spreading hope each day.

"Kelcey is my hero and my hope is that people will listen, take action and change the atrocious lack of funding for research for this disease. BJALCF and Jill's Legacy are taking a seat at the table of progress in Lung Cancer Research and together their voices are resounding in the halls of healthcare," says Bonnie J. Addario, founder and Lung Cancer survivor.

Will The Great Lung Run bring a collective voice to Lung Cancer? Yes. A voice with legs and a torch that can continue to be passed all over the country and world. It will land in the San Francisco Bay Area where the BJALCF Headquarters is located at some point in December for a celebration and strategy party to continue the fight to BEAT and END LUNG CANCER.

Get Involved
For complete details on Kelcey's adventure, visit www.thegreatlungrun.com. To donate or sponsor The Great Lung Run, CLICK HERE or contact darby@lungcancerfoundation.org or 949.293.2093. Sponsorships available from $10.00 - $250,000. All proceeds will go to Young Investigator Lung Cancer research or projects designed to significantly impact survival, catalyze and accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of more effective treatment options for Lung Cancer patients through the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, and its sister Foundation, the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI).

BJALCF and Jill's Legacy are hosting Your Next Step is the Cure® 5k walk/runs all over the country and Jog for Jill 5k's across college campuses. To participate in an event near you visit http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/events/. To host an event in your city, contact darby@lungcancerfoundation.org.

Submit a video or pictures of WhatCanYourLungsDo?  To mylungs@lungcancerfoundation.org for a chance to win a Vespa, other prizes and/or to be featured in our campaign. http://vimeo.com/45457761

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
BJALCF is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established on March 6, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised over nine million dollars for Lung Cancer research. www.lungcancerfoundation.org

About Jillian Costello and Jill's Legacy
Jill's Legacy was established on March 11, 2011, as a subsidiary of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, a 501(c) 3, founded on March 1, 2006. Jill Costello was diagnosed in June 2009 with Stage IV Lung Cancer and began fundraising efforts with Bonnie one month after being diagnosed. She came to work for the foundation in April 2010. Her DREAM was to end Lung Cancer for all patients and those yet to be diagnosed. Jill lost her battle with Lung Cancer at 22-years-young on June 24, 2010. www.jillslegacy.org

About the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI)
ALCMI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, established in February, 2008, and a sister organization of BJALCF.  With offices in California and Connecticut, and dozens of member institutions in the United States and Europe, ALCMI is dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new and more effective treatment options for Lung Cancer patients. In response to widely-acknowledged and systematic barriers to progress against Lung Cancer, ALCMI developed and launched an inaugural research program -- a targeted, multi-institutional biorepository.  The purpose is to facilitate the application of known biomarkers to patients presenting today, and to establish a collection of biospecimens essential for the discovery and validation of new biomarkers for improved diagnostics, treatments and patient outcomes. www.alcmi.net

SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation