Free to Breathe (FtB) and the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) merged on September 30, 2017 to further their impact on lung cancer research.

View the Lung Cancer Research Foundation’s Video: Together

Moving forward,the joint organization will be known as the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

By coming together, the organizations will combine resources, accelerate ongoing efforts already established separately and develop key synergies to further their impact on lung cancer research.

“As a lung cancer researcher, I know firsthand the significant impact both organizations have had on the lung cancer community,” said Brendon M. Stiles, MD, Chair of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Over the last decade we have seen steady progress in the field of lung cancer research, which has led to improved patient outcomes.”

Both the Lung Cancer Research Foundation and Free to Breathe have a long history of funding innovative, high-reward research across the spectrum of basic, clinical, and translational research with the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. The newly expanded organization has funded a cumulative 332 grants, totaling more than $32 million, the highest amount of funding provided by a lung cancer research organization to date.

“By coming together, we can build upon the momentum we have established separately to expand our Scientific Grant Program and increase funding for lung cancer research,” said Nancy M. Sanford, Executive Director, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. “We are proud of the research our organizations have funded thus far and are thrilled that we are uniting to increase our grant funding moving forward.”

In addition to funding lung cancer research, the merged organization will focus on lung cancer awareness and education programs. The merged entity will also continue to host public events across the country. Free to Breathe’s nationwide series of annual run/walk and yoga events will continue as the Free to Breathe Event Series.

Founded in 2005, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation funds novel lung cancer research that might otherwise go unfunded. Through its Scientific Grant Program, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation provides critical seed funding to U.S. and international investigators with groundbreaking ideas, helping establish proof of concept evidence to pave the way for additional funding.

Free to Breathe was founded in 2001 and focuses on funding lung cancer research, providing lung cancer education, and promoting advocacy and awareness. The organization develops lung cancer educational materials and provides them free of charge to patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Educating patients empowers them to make the best and most informed decisions about their treatment and care.

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation’s Executive Team will continue to be led by Executive Director Nancy M. Sanford, and include Delia Naughton, LMSW, Vice President, Business Development; Zaid Mohammed, CPA, CGMA, Chief Financial and Operating Officer; Sherie Reinders, Chief Operating Officer (Madison Office); Jan Baranski, PhD, Director, Scientific Programs; Amy Hall, Vice President, Finance (Madison Office); Mary Henningfield, PhD, Director of Scientific Education and Research (Madison Office); and Aubrey Rhodes, Vice President, Community Engagement and Outreach (Madison Office).

The newly expanded Lung Cancer Research Foundation is headquartered in New York City, with a second office in Madison, WI, and additional staff throughout the country. For more information, please visit or