ALA Has TB Ties in Lorain County

Partnership Approaches Half Century

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MaryAnn Manning

INDEPENDENCE OH (05/26/2010)(readMedia)-- Although today's American Lung Association focuses on a wide variety of diseases, its beginning and roots are in the fight against tuberculosis.

And, despite advances in medical science, tuberculosis remains a problem today with 9 million new cases around the world each year and almost 2 million TB-related annual deaths worldwide.

For almost 50 years, the Lorain County TB Clinic and the American Lung Association have been partners in the fight in Lorain County against TB. Retired Clinic Director Kathy Horvath was a local ALA board member and volunteer for many years and current Clinic Director MaryAnn Manning is active in this June's Oberlin Lung Walk to raise money to help in the ALA's Fight for Air.

The non-competitive event is June 12 and will start in Oberlin College's Tappan Square with a choice of either a 1 mile or 3.5 mile walk route around the college campus and downtown Oberlin. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and the Walk starts at 9 a.m. In case of rain, the event will be at the Heisman Field House Track. The walk is presented by EMH Regional Healthcare System.

MaryAnn considers tuberculosis control and prevention as her life's work and her passion.

"Working so closely, I felt the devastating effects that this lung disease had on the patient, their families, friends and co-workers," she explained. "The social stigma wreaked havoc with their personal, social and every aspect of their lives -- let alone the fact that these patients were very ill and some died."

"Even afterward, often the disease lived on within their family – either through illness or the social stigma," she continued. The TB Clinic is proud of its' affiliation the American Lung Association and will continue to work with them to wipe out lung diseases."

According to MaryAnn, she is walking for a sister battling lung cancer and for all of her past patients who suffer from lung disease.

There is no registration fee for the event, but participants are asked to sign-up in advance and to raise funds to help in the American Lung Association's "Fight for Air". Registration can be done online at or by contacting Kristine Popa at 216-532-8203 or Participants who raise at least $100 in donations will receive an official Oberlin Lung Walk t-shirt.

For those unable to actually participate in the walk portion of the event, there is also an option to be a virtual walker. Regardless of the walker's participation type, there is a variety of fundraising incentives available to reward the walker's efforts.

"Helping Others Breathe" event signs are available for purchase at $15 each. The signs will be placed along the walk route and are personalized to allow you to honor a loved one struggling with lung disease, remember someone who has lost the fight against lung disease, celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, or show recognition for an extraordinary person in your life. Visit to purchase a sign.

A fun-filled day is planned for all, including:

• Live music from the local band, The Croonerz;

• Children's entertainment such as free balloons for the day from Kendal at Oberlin;

• Light refreshments including pizza from Domino's and water from Andy's Drive-Thru;

• Purchase raffle tickets to win baskets full of donated items and gift certificates from local supporters such as Avon and Green Circle Growers;

• Visit the displays of the many sponsors and exhibitors from around Lorain County and the City of Oberlin;

Following the walk, participants are encouraged to visit the shops and restaurants of downtown Oberlin and walk the beautiful Oberlin College campus.