The Orioles have already given Baltimore much to be proud of this week by clinching the American League East division title. Not as well known is another reason for Baltimore to be proud of this amazing organization — for the role that they are playing in the fight against lung cancer ("Reflecting on memorable scenes from the Orioles' celebration Tuesday," Sept. 17).
When Orioles Public Relations Director Monica Barlow died this February of lung cancer, she was only 36 years old. She had spent much of her four-and-a-half-year fight against lung cancer sharing her story in the hope of bringing attention to the critical need for research, some of which helped extend her own life. When she passed away, the Baltimore Orioles picked up where she left off, clinching the title of first major sports team to significantly support the fight against lung cancer.
Right fielder Nick Markakis named LUNGevity as the charity of his choice for Major League Baseball's "Strike Out Cancer Day" initiative. Prior to his suspension, first baseman Chris Davis pledged to donate $100 to LUNGevity Foundation for every home run he hit this season. The famous Oriole Bird mascot donned a fashionable LUNGevity bow tie on the baseball field along with FOX sportscaster Ken Rosenthal in support of lung cancer research and the team sported LUNGevity t-shirts during spring training in honor of Monica. Even the fans have become involved. Cole, a 5th grade Orioles super fan who attends about 30 games a year, noticed the Orioles' LUNGevity spring training shirts and spent all summer raising money at his lemonade stand for LUNGevity in honor of Monica.
The remarkable contributions the Baltimore Orioles have made to the fight against lung cancer have provided a unique and contagious energy, reminding everyone that scientific research is giving reasons to be hopeful. The proceeds from the t-shirts, home runs, and lemonade stand will help fund research that will benefit the lives of those diagnosed with lung cancer and their loved ones. The Orioles have taken every opportunity to raise public awareness for this important fight. On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Orioles will host the Breathe Deep Baltimore walk for the second year, rallying the entire Baltimore community to join Orioles players and management in support of the fight against lung cancer. Our foundation is enormously grateful for the leadership and support of the entire Orioles organization and the great community of Orioles fans.
Andrea Ferris, Potomac
The writer is president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation.
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