Dear Friends and Family,

Without a doubt, I am getting ready for the biggest challenge of my life. On August 13th, 2005 I will be racing in an Ironman triathlon - 2.4 mile swim - 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. Sounds tough for one day's work!

Not as tough as having lung cancer. As you probably know, my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a year and a half ago - she has gone through chemotherapy for the last 576 days, lost her hair, been sick, had pneumonia and was hospitalized twice, once for 4 days and once for 10 days, and gone through 32 radiation therapies.

I am training to complete the Ironman in honor of my Mom.

After she was diagnosed, I learned the following:

  1. Lung cancer kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined - 29% of all cancer deaths in 2005.

  2. Lung cancer kills 85% of newly diagnosed patients within 5 years.

  3. The survival rate is 49% for cases detected when the disease is localized to the lung, but only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed that early.

  4. Approximate amount spent on research per cancer death:

    • $13,649 per breast cancer death
    • $10,560 per prostate cancer death
    • $4,581 per colorectal cancer death
    • $1,740 per lung cancer death
Research is the key to finding a cure, and funding for this research is almost non-existent. I have set a personal goal to raise $10,000 toward this effort.

As I attempt to complete the 140.6 mile course, you will be with me in spirit, and your sponsorship will inspire me to go stronger and faster to the finish line. A donation of one dollar per mile is suggested, but whatever you can do to contribute matters... it all adds up! Your donation is going to the non-profit LUNGevity Foundation and 100% of it will be used for lung cancer research. In addition, your donation is 100% tax deductible.

There are two ways to donate (please attempt to complete your donation by July 31st):

  1. Go to www.ironman4lungcancer.org and donate directly online; or

  2. Send your donation along with the enclosed pledge form.

Thank you so much for your support and generosity! It will make a difference.

Bjorn