White Ribbon Project partners with WNY nonprofit for World Lung Cancer Day


WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — On World Lung Cancer Day a Western New York nonprofit is bringing awareness to the disease, one wooden ribbon at a time.

Foundation 228 was founded in 2019 by Erica Burzynski and Holly Saari when their mother lost her battle with lung cancer. Their goal was to create a conversation around the disease.

“Lung cancer is no longer a smoker’s disease, and that is the stigma behind it,” said Burzynski. “Anybody who smokes is going to get it … but we’ve learned over the years after our mother passed, is that anybody with lungs can get lung cancer.”

Two years later, and with more than $20,000 raised for cancer research, the foundation is sponsoring an international effort for those living in our community.

The White Ribbon Project was started in 2020 by a husband and wife who were blindsided by her cancer diagnosis. In an effort to start a conversation about the stigma, they built and painted white wooden ribbons to create a support system for those in the cancer community.

Today, volunteers from all around Western New York stopped by to help with the sanding and painting of their own white ribbons. Burzynski says they plan to make more than 64 ribbons and will pass them out to those in the community. If you keep your eyes out, you might just see one of the massive wooden signs the next time you head to the doctors’ office.

“Currently a lot of lung cancer centers and hospitals are getting involved, and they’re giving them to doctors, researchers, and clinicians,” said Burzynski.

For more information on Foundation 228 click here.

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