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Lung Race/Walk brings in $13,000 for lung cancer patients needing help

January 4, 2019

Lung cancer survivor Vicki Rhyan brought a large group of family and friends to the event.

The numbers are in from the Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K Race & Walk held November 3, 2018 to benefit lung cancer patients in need of financial assistance at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH). Because of the generosity of the community, NCH employees, and friends/family members of patients who participated, $13,000 will be added to the Northwest Community Hospital Foundation Lung Cancer Patient Assistance Fund.

“We are proud to share an astonishing 385 percent increase from last year’s $2,500 raised,” Juli Aistars, APRN, TTS, Patient Navigator and Co-Race Director, says. “Words cannot express how thankful we are for the community members and friends who made this possible.”

Lung cancer survivor Vicki Rhyan, 57, was instrumental in helping to organize the event and brought close to 40 people to the event with her.

“At some point everyone will experience a hardship, regardless of background, race or economic status,” says Rhyan. “Allowing those around you to help whether financially, spiritually or simply to listen is what community is all about.”

The race/walk drew more than 370 registered participants, topping last year’s attendance by nearly 200 people. The special day served as a community lung cancer survivorship celebration, Aistars says.

Juli Aistars, Race Director/Lung Cancer Patient Navigator, addresses the crowd at the 2018 5K Walk/Run in Palatine.

Those who receive a lung cancer diagnosis and undergo treatment often face challenges of meeting basic living expenses as a result of their illness, says Dave Ungurean, Northwest Community Hospital Foundation Executive Director.

“We are so grateful to race founder Juli Aistars and all who supported this year’s event,” Ungurean says. “These funds provide critical financial assistance to patients who are battling lung cancer. For them at such a vulnerable time in their lives, these small emergency grants can mean everything.”

View photos from this year’s event. Race results are available at

Those interested in participating in next year’s event should save the date – Saturday, November 2, 2019.

Lung cancer facts:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women.
  • About one in four cancer deaths are from lung cancer.
  • Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Early detection is critical. NCH is a leader in the prevention, detection, treatment and care of those with lung cancer or those at high risk for lung cancer. For more information, visit Call 847-618-3700 to schedule a lung cancer screening today.