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Team walks for breathing rights

Lynn Pilon -- Reminder Publications submitted photo
By Natasha Clark

Assistant Managing Editor

Reminding ourselves to breathe is a rare obligation. Drawing a breath is something most human beings do so easily the mind does not even focus on the respiratory function. The family of Lynn Pilon, however, knows firsthand that the act of inhaling and exhaling is not something to be taken for granted. For the last eight years her family and friends, Team Lynn, have been walking in an asthma walk for the American Lung Association, often finishing as the the top fundraising team.

This year Pilon's sisters, Karen Laramee and Laurie Gaboury, are family co-chairpersons for the Western Mass American Lung Association Blow the Whistle on Lung Disease Walk on May 3.

"It's a great cause," Laramee told Reminder Publications. "My thing is everybody needs to breathe. I just don't understand why there isn't so much more awareness."

Pilon developed asthma in her late teens. At the age of 30, eight days before Laramee's wedding, she was found on the floor in her Rhode Island home. Pilon had been home in the morning getting Ashley, one of her two children, ready for school. According to information released by the family, "she was having a hard time breathing. Her updraft machine was out but we never knew if she had time to use it. She called 911 and must have passed out and was found on the floor. Ashley was four-years-old and David was six months old."

A year after Pilon's passing, the family created Team Lynn, spreading awareness about lung health and raising funds for research. This year's walk has a $25,000 goal and will take place in Forest Park in Springfield. Laramee said they are hoping more people will come out and not only support the team, but the American Lung Association and their endeavor to save lives.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk is set to start at 10 a.m. For those who are not able or interested in walking, the option of being a virtual walker is available. As of press time $5,272 has been raised.

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