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Yesterday was a great day for participating in the annual American Lung Association’s Fight For Air walk at Hamburger University in Oakbrook, Illinois, as part of the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacist’s team. (I’m not in this picture as I was the one taking it.)

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve lived with second-hand smoke, one way or another, my entire life and have seen how smoking has affected those people nearest and dearest to me who have become addicted to cigarettes.

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It used to break my heart when, years ago, our girls would come home from school after hearing a lecture from their teacher on the dangers of smoking and beg my husband to quit. They were really upset that he was subjecting himself to the risk of developing lung cancer or some other equally devastating disease and couldn’t understand why, even for love of them, he couldn’t bring himself to give up the habit. He still can’t although he came very close to it last year.

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Most, if not all, of the people at the walk yesterday had similar stories to tell and many of them stopped by the ICHP Smoking Cessation booth. Some of the students and faculty members, who attend the UIC College of Pharmacy, were more than happy to supply answers to some of the questions and offer encouragement to those who are trying to kick the habit.

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As usual, Ronald McDonald was on hand to lead the countdown for the start of the walk, which delighted all the children and many of the older ‘kids’ too.

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The weather was perfect with just a hint of autumn in the air and the route through the grounds of the university provided some pleasant scenery.

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I’m very thankful that I can still get enough air into my lungs to enjoy a brisk, three mile walk and really hope that by contributing to such a worthwhile cause I can, in some small way, help someone else to do the same.

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