Charlestown Residents Help 'Shine a Light' on Lung Cancer

The top of Boston's Prudential Tower will go blue tonight as part of the awareness event.

A group of Charlestown residents, joined by others from around Boston, will “shine a light” on lung cancer during an awareness event scheduled today at the Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston St., Boston.

Started five years ago by Amesbury resident Diane Legg, a lung cancer survivor, the Boston Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil is one of more than 90 vigils being held across the country as well as in Australia, Egypt and Brazil, according to Charlestown resident and event organizer Julia Gaynor.

Other Charlestown residents helping to organize the event include Lauren Digange, Rich Monopoli and Deidre Malloy.

“The first vigil was at the State House and it was so successful we moved it to the Prudential Tower, where we were able to turn the top of the iconic building blue for lung cancer (November is lung cancer awareness month),” Gaynor said in an email.

The purpose of the event is to “shine a light” on lung cancer—a disease that carries with it the stigma of being a smoker.

“One in 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 85 percent of those will die within five years,” Gaynor said. “What most people don't know is that 80 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer either never smoked or quit smoking, usually decades ago.”

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an educational fair that features representatives from Massachusetts General Hospital, the Dana Farber Institute and other hospitals and lung cancer organizations that offer information and resources.

New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski will be this year’s honored guest and will help turn the top of the Prudential Tower blue for lung cancer awareness. WCVB TV news anchor Heather Unruh will be the event emcee. 

The Shine A Light vigil will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will feature three lung cancer patients telling their stories and doctors talking about the latest treatments and screening options for those at risk. There will also be a video booth where people can share their personal stories.

“The purpose of the vigil is to provide a place for lung cancer survivors, patients and the family of those who have lost loved ones to come together to remember and honor those loved ones—and to get inspired to help make a difference,” Gaynor said. “The other purpose of this vigil is to raise awareness of the disease, to get people talking, sharing their stories.”

Gaynor said she got involved with the Shine A Light on Lung Cancer Vigil after losing her mother to the disease five years ago. Both Digange and Monopoli have also lost loved ones to lung cancer, and Malloy is a lung cancer survivor, Gaynor said.

The New England Chapter of Lung Cancer Alliance sponsors the Boston event along with partner sponsors Dana Farber, MGH, Brigham & Women's and Lahey Clinic.

Julia Gaynor November 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM
This is a wonderful event and it's free to the public. Plus, if you're a Gronk fan, he'll be there to help us turn the Pru blue for lung cancer awareness! Educational fair starts at 6:30, program at 7:30. It's at the Prudential Center, Belvidere Pavilion (near PF Chang's). For more info go to www.shinealightboston.org
john davidson November 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS" 7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18 November 2004. http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409 "5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease." In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does. The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.
deidre malloy November 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Last night event was a huge success at the Prudential Tower. It is learning, sharing and recognition for the fine Doctors we have all over the Boston area. We met their courageous patients . Families and survivors met again to remember the gift of life of another year and we honored those we lost.Our gracious and beautiful host did another amazing job , her mother a non smoker is a lung cancer survivor. .remember over 60% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are not active smokers, about 20% never smoked at all and many other stopped decades ago..So many young people are stuck down by this disease. 168,000 people die in the Us every year more than breast, ovarian,colon,prostate pancreatic combined.!This disease has been in the dark survival rates have not changed much since the 1950's.we loose 5000 Massachusetts residents every year to this disease.. it we lost them to the flu there would be a run on the State House. Lung Cancer is NOT just for smokers.. Help us when you can..Thank you deidre malloy


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