Lincoln Woman Continues Dad's Legacy After His Death

By: Terra Hall Email
By: Terra Hall Email

Katie Holle and her father, E.J. Cole, Jr. planned to walk together in the Free to Breathe fundraiser for lung cancer research and awareness event this Saturday.

"He never smoked a day of his life," said Holle. "And I just wanted to get the awareness out there that anyone can get lung cancer. It's the number one cancer killer."

But he died in June, just 11 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

"A lot of people don't understand that because the stigma is there with the smoking that the research isn't always there," Holle said. "People don't want to support it."

That's why Katie decided to turn her grief into a passion and help organize the walk in memory of her father. More than 330 people turned out to the first annual Free to Breathe 5K Walk and Run Saturday morning.

"Two people everyday in Nebraska will die from this so I didn't want to wait because it needs to be stopped," Holle said. "We need to have the funding and the research there because otherwise it's going to continue to be the number one cancer killer."

The Free to Breathe event unites people like Katie who are passionate about raising public awareness and much needed funding to fight lung cancer.

"Two people everyday in Nebraska will die from this so I didn't want to wait because it needs to be stopped," Holle said. "We need to have the funding and the research there because otherwise it's going to continue to be the number one cancer killer."

There will be more than 1,200 new cases of lung cancer in Nebraska in 2009. Nearly 900 people will die from the disease this year alone.

If you'd like to help in the fight against lung cancer, but were unable to head out to the Free to Breathe event, it's not too late to donate. Click on the link below for more information.


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