San Diego Free to Breathe 5k Run/Walk set for August 6

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Santee resident, Joseph (Joe) Hamilton, will be participating, in memory of his mother, Margie, in the 8th Annual San Diego Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk, at the Embarcadero on Aug. 6.

“She was a tough Irish woman, a firecracker,” said Hamilton as he fondly remembered his mother, Margaret “Margie” Hamilton. Firecracker or not, lung cancer felled her at age 68. Hamilton explained, “When she was diagnosed she was stage 4.”

Santee resident, Joseph (Joe) Hamilton, will be participating, in memory of his mother, Margie, in the 8th Annual San Diego Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk, at the Embarcadero on Aug. 6.

“She was a tough Irish woman, a firecracker,” said Hamilton as he fondly remembered his mother, Margaret “Margie” Hamilton. Firecracker or not, lung cancer felled her at age 68. Hamilton explained, “When she was diagnosed she was stage 4.”

Hamilton has since taken a lead role to bring, along with others, the Free to Breathe 5K to San Diego.  He is also committed to raising awareness of lung cancer in memory of his mother.

Team Margie has raised close to $4,000 as of mid-July.  On a side note, Hamilton has also seen the participation in each year’s run grow by thousands. 

Hamilton, with Lakeside’s Hal Rakowski Insurance, has also had large support from the IIABSD, or Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of San Diego, in raising money, participation and awareness of the Free to Breathe 5K event and lung cancer.

“My brother and family took turns caring for her. We took shifts. We bought a trailer, a 23’ Sonoma 2008 travel trailer, we parked the trailer and rotated staying in it to care for her” explained Hamilton.

“As hard as it was, it brought our siblings together” Hamilton elaborated. “The race is not a sad, mourning event but a celebration of her. The walk is beautiful.”

On August 6, check in begins at 6:15 a.m., at the Embarcadero Marina Park North.  The day will also include music, refreshments, a survivor’s area, kids’ activities, and more. All proceeds go to support Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing lung cancer survival.  Last year the event raised $53,000.

“The money goes to research. With major players in the medical field participating” added Hamilton.

Hamilton’s wife, Jennifer and sons Ryan, 7, and Joey, 10, will also participate on Team Margie. Margie’s grandson, Joey, barely knew her but remembers, “I used to tickle her feet.”

Part of the Free to Breathe’s motto is “Surviving lung cancer should be an expectation, not the exception.” Free to Breathe is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Visit: www.freetobreathe.org to contribute to or join Team Margie or to donate to the cause.