Lung Force Run/Walk honors those lost to lung cancer and lung disease

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States.

In Jacksonville Sunday morning, people took to the streets in Riverside to remember those lost to lung disease and to celebrate those who have survived.

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It was a special day for Rhianna Felder-Murray.

“Today is my mother’s, what would be her 65th birthday,” she said.

Although special, the day was also bittersweet.

Felder-Murray’s mother passed away in 2015 due to lung cancer. She died just 11 months after her diagnosis.

“I’m actually wearing her shoes today to honor her for her birthday,” Felder-Murray said.

She participated in the American Lung Association’s 7th Annual Lung Force Run/Walk to honor her mother, whose pictures hang alongside others who lost their battle to lung disease.

“She put up a big fight. She was a very strong person,” Felder-Murray said.

She is also supporting others and raising her voice.

“There needs to be much earlier detection, much earlier screening,” Felder-Murray said.

Money raised at the event will go to the American Lung Association to help fight lung cancer and lung disease.

Lung Force Cabinet Chair Kim Collins is familiar with both.

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“I also lost my mother to COPD. My father in the last two years was diagnosed with lung cancer early, nonsmoker, screened, caught by accident,” Collins said.

Collins said a lung cancer diagnosis used to be a death sentence but early screenings can save your life.

“I just hope my mom is looking down on me and is proud of me,” Felder-Murray said.