WESTON – Though Jenny Kislow of Weston lost her husband, Tom, to lung cancer just four quick months after being diagnosed in 2011, she hasn’t swayed in her vow to keep his memory alive. For several years she has raised awareness about and funding for life-saving lung cancer research and is now the chairwoman of the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk at the Milwaukee Zoo on Oct. 3.
“I’m honored to serve as the chairperson of the Walk this year and to be more involved. It will be great to see all the familiar faces and the camaraderie with everyone. Sharing stories, raising awareness and being one force, one community,” Kislow said.
Two years after his passing, she participated in the Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. It’s been non-stop since then. She’s participated in seven climbs total. She also traveled to Washington, D.C., as a Lung Association LUNG FORCE Hero to advocate for more research funding, and she has participated in several Lung Association Oxygen Balls (a social fundraising event). In total, she’s raised more than $10,000 for the Lung Association and it’s all been in memory of her late husband, Tom, but also to help others.
“I want to bring awareness that what happened to us can happen to other people, and that we can take something negative and turn it into a positive. Letting people know that if it happens to them, they have support like us, people that went through it. We can support each other,” she said.
She says that losing Tom so quickly wasn’t easy, but it’s part of her drive to raise awareness and funding for life-saving research.
“He was only 35 at the time and an athletic director. In great shape. So it came as a complete shock,” she said. “This shouldn’t happen to anyone or to any family. I do this to not let his memory fade and to lower the number of cancer deaths and ultimately, end lung cancer once and for all.”
Registration is now open for the event, which invites individuals, families, groups of friends, and corporate teams to stroll, saunter, or power-walk through the zoo for 1 mile.
Event organizers continually monitor local conditions that might affect the event. Everyone is encouraged to check the walk website for the most up-to-date information leading up to the event.
Registration for the LUNG FORCE Walk is free and participants are encouraged to fundraise a minimum of $100 to earn an event T-shirt. For more information, and to register, visit LUNGFORCEWalk.org/Wisconsin.
Source: American Lung Association