Besides simply raising money, one of the team’s other main goals is trying to help eliminate the stigma that is associated with lung cancer and smoking. Laurie Irwin, another Amesbury resident and team member, said she remembers almost feeling the need to point out that her father was a smoker after her died of lung cancer.
“Even if smoking is the cause of lung cancer, who cares,” Legg said. “The patient has a disease that needs to be treated, and it needs to be understood. Smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, or heart attacks, and are we stigmatizing people who have a heart attack and blaming it on smoking? No, never.”
Generally speaking, each member of Team Lungstrong typically raises around $5,000, though there are some who raise more and others left. Fundraising efforts extend beyond the PMC itself, as Team Lungstrong will also host a 5K race and an event at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury. King added that sponsorships are welcome and any business that chooses to sign on can get its name printed on their jerseys.
This year’s PMC is set for Aug. 2 and 3, and participants will have a number of different course options in which to ride. For more information, or to register to ride, visit pmc.org.