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A Project to Defeat Lung Cancer

  • March 23 2011

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    “We really need to do something for lung cancer.” Susan Keen, RN, OCN is accomplishing just that. An Oncology Nurse Navigator, working at the CJW Medical Center, Susan sets ambitious goals and accomplishes them.

    After her youngest child started school, she studied to get her RN. Since then, she has served 13 years as an Oncology Certified Nurse, with 4 of those years in research. For the last 3 years, Susan has been tirelessly working with patients and families saying, “A patient who is well educated is going to know how to be treated.” Susan lost her grandmother and 2 aunts to lung cancer and knew that she wanted to do something to fight this underfunded cancer.

    Last August, Susan applied to the Oncology Nursing Society’s prestigious Leadership Development Institute, stating in her application that she hoped to start a 5K in Richmond to raise funds and awareness for lung cancer as her required project for the Institute. She was one of 40 accepted, and attended last October, receiving training in nursing leadership.

    To follow-through with her project, Susan worked with the National Lung Cancer Partnership to bring together a team to plan Richmond’s first Free to Breathe 5K event, with a health fair integrated into the program.

    Richmond’s Free to Breathe race was held March 12, with 435 participants and over $52,000 raised, making this a huge success for a first event!

    What made this event so unique was the health fair component. Tables staffed by nurses and volunteers checked blood glucose levels, CO2 levels, and blood pressures, while other tables offered yoga classes and fitness tips.

    We commend Susan, her event co-chair Nick D'Amato, and her planning committee for making a difference by raising funds for lung cancer research, education and awareness programs and promoting awareness and understanding through their Free to Breathe® event.


    Join Brooke in her quest to defeat lung cancer by participating in a Free to Breathe® event! Visit


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