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California's only lung cancer walk returns to San Diego

By Perla Shaheen,


The only lung cancer walk recognized by the American Lung Association in California happened Saturday morning at Liberty Station. Every person who participated walked for a reason.

“My father passed away this past year from lung cancer,” said Elijah Goodn-Dottin.

Some recently lost a family member.

“It was painful, anger. I tried to suppress it," Goodn-Dottin said. "That didn’t work well. This is the healthy thing to do."

Or they have one who just recovered.

“Around December, he was able to go in for surgery to get it taken out,” Augusto Vega said.

Lisa Tafua was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year.

“It's not curable,” Tafua said. “So we’re trying to adjust to that new reality.”

Forty-three others joined her as well. They were one of many groups that came to walk. In total, they helped raise around $180,000 for the American Lung Association, supporting more research for a cure.

“Got tons of support,” Tafua said. “These guys are my big family. Lot of friends, so very lucky.”

According to the Association, only 1% of eligible California residents have been screened for lung cancer. It’s a disturbingly low number considering that it is the number one cancer killer in the United States.

“He was able to catch it early,” Vega said.

Early screening can save a life.

“Just doing your scans when you can. Don’t skip them. It’s always important,” Vega said. “Especially with all the COVID going around, you never know what it could be.”

For more information on the walk or to donate, click here .

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