Yolonda Colson

Balloons and butterfly decorations filled the atrium of the Building for Transformative Medicine on March 18 as patients, staff, families and friends of BWH’s Women’s Lung Cancer Forum gathered in celebration of survivorship and community.

“Each of the balloons was purchased in the name of a patient, and the recipients were just stunned by how much people care for and support them,” said Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, director of the Women’s Lung Cancer Program. “It was a wonderful event and a true celebration of this important community we’ve created to support women with lung cancer from diagnosis to survivorship.”

The Balloon-a-thon raised more than $25,000 for lung cancer research and education, advocacy, and patient support programming provided by the Women’s Lung Cancer Forum. Donations in support of patients came in from more than 130 individuals and from as far away as Bermuda.

The Women’s Lung Cancer Forum is a group of patients, providers, advocates and staff dedicated to raising awareness about and alleviating the burden of lung cancer in women through educational and advocacy initiatives.

During the event, Colson and others spoke about what the forum has offered over the past 11 years. “It’s important to know that you’re not alone in going through this disease, and learning more about the disease can be extremely empowering,” she said.

All of the balloons were either taken home by survivors, given to young supporters in the audience or delivered to Tower 11 and presented to lung cancer patients as a symbol of hope.

For more information about the Women’s Lung Cancer Forum, visit womenslungcancer.org.