For too many people, lung disease is personal and has had a profound effect on their lives.

For too many people, lung disease is personal and has had a profound effect on their lives.

For those people, the American Lung Association in Ohio's Columbus Lung Walk on Saturday, June 12, is a way to help in the "Fight for Air," which will benefit the American Lung Association.

The "Fight for Air" is certainly personal for Grove City's Nikki Snell, captain of the "Ohana" team in this year's non-competitive event.

Nikki's mother, Nancy Ellen Stutler, died from small cell lung cancer on Dec. 12, 2008. Other family members have also died from lung cancer and many live with asthma and emphysema. Nikki herself has had two bouts of pneumonia. She personally quit smoking at age 27, ending a habit that had started at age 11.

"I walk this year because I am finally mentally strong enough to face something this heavy for me. My mom would be so proud. I walk for those who can't walk or even speak for themselves," Nikki explained in a press release.

"I miss her so much. She was a beacon that led everyone home and added a strength to our family that will never again be present," she continued.

Nikki's mom was diagnosed just eight months before her death. According to Nikki, "She came home on oxygen on Saturday, Dec. 6. She was told they couldn't promise her she would make it until Christmas and she must have known they were right. She sent me out that weekend to fill her wish list for Christmas gifts."

The family held an early celebration on Dec. 9, gathering to open gifts, laugh and eat their usual Christmas meal. This was Nikki's mom's last coherent day. For the next three days the family kept her as comfortable as possible with the assistance of several on-call hospice nurses.

"She deteriorated quickly yet painfully slow. On Dec. 12, 2008, at about 2:30 p.m. she took her last breathe as I held her hand and hummed 'Amazing Grace.' She was surrounded by family and friends just the way she had been in life."

The 2010 Columbus Lung Walk raises money to fund research seeking improved treatment and cures for lung disease patients and to fund programs and services from the American Lung Association in Ohio.

WBNS-10TV's Andrea Cambern will emcee the event, which will start with check-in at 8 a.m. at the Town Square Fountain at Easton Town Center. The walk itself will start at 9 a.m.

Live entertainment will be provided by the local band, Brothers by Law, a family-friendly event and will include on-site activities such as free lung function tests, health education displays and exhibits, face painting, refreshments, and chair massages.

Primary event supporters include Gold Sponsor, Fifth Third Bank, and Silver Sponsor, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

You can donate to the walk or sign up to participate by visiting www.midlandlung.orgwalk.

There is no registration fee, but participants are asked to sign-up in advance and to raise funds to help in the American Lung Association's "Fight for Air." Participants can register online at or by calling the Columbus office at (614) 279-1700.

"Helping Others Breathe" event route 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, celebrate a special occasion or show recognition for an extraordinary person in your life. Visit