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Who Do I Run For?

  • June 04 2014

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    Who Do I Run For?

    Several generations of Shawn Whalen Shinn's family have been touched by lung cancer. A dedicated advocate for the lung cancer cause and a fundraiser for the Dallas/Fort Worth Free to Breathe event, Shawn shared her story on event day this year to help rally attendees and unite the crowd in spirit, in hope, and in dedication to funding research and changing lives together. We'd like to share the powerful words she spoke that day, explaining who she runs for.

    I am overjoyed to see the turnout this morning for the 4th Annual Free to Breathe Event here in Dallas. I have been a team captain and involved in this event since the beginning and it is tremendous to see the impact that our community can make in just a few short years.

    As I look around, I ask myself ….What is everyone’s story and who are you walking or running for today?


    4th year Cancer Warriors for Research Team Members, left to right: Stacy Higgins, Shawn Shinn, Shelby Shin (Shawn's daughter) and Sharon Munger (Shawn's mother).

    My story spans 5 generations - I have a long family history of lung cancer starting with two great grandparents.  My dear uncle, Tim Maginnis, courageously battled lung cancer for 10 months, but lost his fight 3 years ago this July.  And then there is my incredible mother, Sharon Munger, who is here with me today and is a 15-year lung cancer survivor. 

    I work in oncology research and have the privilege of working alongside lung cancer researchers, academic institutions, healthcare providers, and companies trying to develop better therapies and treatments for lung cancer. 8 years ago I produced an educational video for Free to Breathe, where we followed 4 lung cancer patients through their very personal decisions to participate in clinical trials. Each person had a tenacious spirit and an overwhelming drive to take action about their treatment – all of these individuals have made a significant impact and they compelled me to get more involved in making a difference. One of those people is here today with his family and will be walking on my team; Jerrold Dash is celebrating his 8th year since his stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis.

    Everything around me makes me want to do more – and each year I turn more actions into a lifetime of impact to save lives and increase survival.

    • So I run for past generations who did not have the research and treatment options of today…

    • I run for my mother who through early detection and continuous screening has been fighting her lung cancer for 15 years…

    • And finally, I run for my children who have a significant family history and I want to be able to fund and impact research so that for their generation we can ensure surviving lung cancer is the expectation – not the exception.

    -Shawn Whalen Shinn

    Join Shawn and Free to Breathe in the quest to double survival by 2022!


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