Free ME from Lung Cancer breathes life into community

by Carla Gade

When was the last time you took a good deep breath? During the past year I think we all have learned to not take our health and breathing for granted. Yet, this is a goal that the Free ME from Lung Cancer foundation continually works toward. Since 2013, the health and welfare of lung cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and preventative measures has been the primary goal of the Maine non-profit based in Augusta. In fact, Free ME from Lung Cancer’s CEO, Debra Violette, a lung cancer survivor herself, steadfastly serves the organization, breathing life to reinvigorate its active mission, pandemic or not.

During the past year, Deb, was able to get FMFLC accredited by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. She also testified before the Health and Human Services Committee in support of LD 819 which is “An act to reduce lung cancer rates in Maine by requiring testing for and mitigation of radon in residential buildings by landlords.” Deb asked Senator Joe Baldacci to sponsor the bill and Representatives O’Connell, Roeder, and Stover are co-sponsors.

Early last year, the FMFLC board decided that funding raised would stay here in Maine. Support was provided to area hospital by providing funding to help with their COVED-19 relief funds. Five hundred care bags for lung cancer patients were issued, they helped a single Mom get a radon air system installed and provided a grant to help high risk uninsured and underinsured patients get access to an early lung cancer screening. With funds in 2019 Free ME from Lung Cancer partnered with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s lung cancer research program. The two-year research grant program is currently recruiting for its next grantee.

So, what are you going to do to keep yourself and those you love refreshed during these continuing challenging times? How about a weekend on the coast? Getting a new gas grill for your small gatherings? Planning a bear hunt for the fall or a Caribbean vacation now that things are beginning to open up. Visiting a local eatery to support local businesses is great and obtaining money saving gift certificates on quality products and services is always a win. Let FMFLC help.

Free ME from Lung Cancer’s online auction gives you a chance to bid on these and many great items thanks to generous donors and sponsors. Enjoy bidding on many great items while contributing to fundraising efforts. Giving to non-profits, including FMFLC, has been significantly down during the Coronavirus pandemic. Your participation will help save lives. The auction is scheduled for will take place from June 11 through 20, 2021. To participate, please register at

The auction is one of the foundation’s two annual fundraisers. The Save Your Breath 5K Run, Walk, Walk-Run will take place on November 6, 2021 at the Kennebec Valley YMCA. A virtual 5-K is also available. Cash prizes and an award ceremony will follow immediately after at the Bateau Brewery. To register for this event, please visit

To learn more about Free ME from Lung Cancer please visit our website (above) and sign up for our newsletter. You can connect on social media @freemefromlungcancer. The opportunity to volunteer as a Board member or assistant is always open and a vital way to serve. To Life!

Carla Gade serves as the Social Media Director for Free Me from Lung Cancer as well as librarian, in China Village.


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