Research Award Honours Young Lung Champion

Research Award Honours Kayla Baker (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)

Ontario Lung Association (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)

Kayla Baker fought illness to be a tireless advocate for lung research

CAMBRIDGE, ON, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Lung Association is creating a new research award that will honour the memory of Kayla Baker, the young lung champion who died on New Year's Day.

The Kayla Baker Research Award will be unveiled Saturday, May 31, at the second annual Run aLung fundraising event in Cambridge, Kayla's home town.  The award, which will be developed with Kayla's family, will fund research in support of her vision of improved care and quality of life for people affected by lung disease, particularly lung transplant patients.

"Creating a research award in my daughter's name just seems like a wonderful way to remember Kayla and her strong commitment to lung health," said Susan Tremblett, Kayla's mother. "Knowing that she would be helping others – I know in my heart that she would be honoured."

The President and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association, George Habib, said that Kayla inspired everyone she met with her courage and her unwavering commitment to building awareness of the importance of lung research. 

"The Kayla Baker Research Award will help to preserve and honour the memory of a young girl who was determined to speak out about her illness in the hope that it would help others," Habib said.

The Kayla Baker Research Award will be amongst the first awards to be developed under an ambitious national initiative called the Breathing as One Campaign for Lung Research.

Kayla Baker was diagnosed with the rare lung disease pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 11, the legacy of cancer treatment that began when she was just 18 months old.  She underwent lung transplant surgery in April 2013 but passed away eight months later.

She was the recipient of this year's Canadian Lung Association Youth Award for outstanding dedication and commitment to lung health. She also received the 2013 Victor Davis Memorial Award from the Canadian Transplant Association in recognition of her efforts to raise awareness about the need for organ donation.

About The Lung Association
The Lung Association is a registered charity that assists, educates and empowers individuals living with or caring for others with lung disease. The Lung Association provides programs and services to patients and health-care providers, invests in lung research and campaigns for improved policies on lung health.

About Breathing as One
Breathing as One is a national fundraising campaign that will support The Lung Association's new, innovative research strategy. Based on the principles of collaboration, the National Respiratory Research Strategy will push beyond the traditional boundaries of lung research, leverage new knowledge and create the highest standards of treatments to attract the brightest medical minds.

SOURCE Ontario Lung Association

Image with caption: "Research Award Honours Kayla Baker (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140528_C2723_PHOTO_EN_2323.jpg

Image with caption: "Ontario Lung Association (CNW Group/Ontario Lung Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140528_C2723_PHOTO_EN_2324.jpg


For further information: John Chenery, 416-864-9911 ext. 292, Cell: 647-293-9911, jchenery@on.lung.ca