Walk to spread lung cancer awareness

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA — The Tri-City Impact Team along with Central Alabama Wellness and Compact (formerly Compact 2020) are sponsoring a Lung Cancer Awareness Walk at Elvin Hill Elementary School on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

The walk itself will take place from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and participants may walk to represent a lung cancer survivor or a loved one lost to the disease. Also, anyone may participate in the walk in support of those affected by lung cancer.

The overall event will feature a live DJ, guest speakers, interactive games, food trucks and free T-shirt giveaways. Everyone present is asked to observe CDC guidelines, said Central Alabama Wellness Prevention Director Zina Cartwell.

“Our goal is to make it a fun event,” Cartwell said. “We wanted to bring awareness to lung health, especially during this time of COVID where the coronavirus attacks our (respiratory) system. People vaping are more likely to get it because their lungs are already being affected by the chemicals from vaping.”

In addition to recognizing those who are diagnosed with lung cancer, the event’s goal is to communicate the importance of prevention, particularly among young people.

“This is a preventable disease for most people,” Cartwell said. “We want to make sure people are making the right decisions when it pertains to their lungs and what they put in their bodies.”

She also emphasized the possible health risks of smoking and secondary smoke, in addition to vaping.

“We definitely want to educate our parents about the dangers of secondhand smoke because you can also get lung cancer from secondhand smoke, and I think sometimes we don’t look at how our actions affect people around us,” Cartwell said. “I know parents want to protect their children.”

The Tri-City Impact Team covers the Columbiana, Wilsonville and Shelby communities.