When sixth grader Aiden Lurtz, of Cottleville, found out his grandpa Stu had lung cancer last spring, he formed a plan to help him and others who suffer from the disease.
“I thought, well maybe I should support lung cancer and people who have it and raise awareness,” he said.
Aiden got to work researching on the Internet and soon learned that not all the right medicine was available to help lung cancer patients.
So he started searching for ways to raise money to change that.
Aiden discovered Free to Breathe St. Louis and with the help of his parents, he formed Team Grandpa Stu with 14 family and friends from Cottleville and O’Fallon.
Free to Breathe St. Louis is a 5K walk that encourages the community to come together and raise awareness and support for lung cancer.
All proceeds help support the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s vital research, education and awareness programs.
“We hope to raise awareness and money for research so others don't have to go through this," Aiden said.
Although Grandpa Stu Lurtz lost his battle with lung cancer earlier this year, Aiden continues to raise money for awareness and support for other patients.
“Aidan is really working hard to make a difference and raise money and awareness in his memory,” Kelly Lurtz, Aiden’s mother said.
Team Grandpa Stu will participate in the Free to Breathe St. Louis Lung Cancer 5K Walk on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Creve Coeur Park, Tremayne Shelter, 2143 Creve Coeur Mill Rd., in Maryland Heights.
Aiden has already reached his personal goal of $500 and team goal of $1,000.
"I have a lot of great friends and good family and they all helped me achieve that," he said.
But there is still time to support to Aiden's cause.
To support Aiden’s efforts:
- Make your tax-deductible donation online by visiting his personal page.
- Go to freetobreathe.com and click on "donate." Click "Search by Location" and enter St. Louis - October 28, 2012.
- When you click "Donate to a Participant or Team," you may type in AIden Lurtz or the team name, Team Grandpa Stu.
- You may also send a contribution by mail to:National Lung Cancer Partnership, 1 Point Place, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53719. Make sure to notie in the memo section of your check "Adian Lurtz & Team Grandpa Stu."
There is also still time to sign up to partipate in Free to Breathe St. Louis.
- Online (closes Oct. 24): $20/$10
- Mail-In (must be received by Oct. 22): $23/$13
- Event Day (beginning at 8:30 a.m.): $25/$15
Aiden said he plans to make the Free to Breathe St. Louis 5K an annual tradition in memory of Grandpa Stu. He said he hopes people will hear his story and sign up to participate.
"They can join or donate and that will make a big difference because it will make people aware and possibly help reasearchers find a cure," he said.
A month after Aiden began his team for the 5K, he lost his grandfather. Aiden's mom Kelly said she is proud of her son's continued efforts.
"We hope it does makes a difference," she said. "I think he will help so other children don’t lose their grandparents."
For more information on how to register or donate to Free to Breathe, visit www.FreetoBreathe.org/st.louis.