SCOTTSBORO, Ala.- During National Lung Cancer Awareness month, one Northeast Alabama car salesman is raising money to fight it. Blake Johnson works at High Country Toyota in Scottsboro.
He is currently doing several fundraisers to raise awareness for lung cancer, which, according to the CDC, kills nearly 150,000 people each year.
“By the time that you add all of the families and friends and all of the people that’s connected to those people, it’s a bigger pool of suffering than what people say,” said Johnson
He told News 19 he hopes to make a difference by donating some of his commissions from car sales to the Relay for Life of Jackson County. But that is just one of the ways he is raising money.
He has hosted a bake sale, and he has partnered with a local insurance agent who is donating $10 for each quote given.
High Country Toyota is also currently hosting a penny drive and is going to match what Johnson has raised.
The fundraisers come after Johnson experienced his own personal loss to lung cancer. His grandmother-in-law died in July after battling the disease.
“The biggest heartbreak was to see her go from healthy to just a couple months into finding out she had cancer to just being a skeleton. It was a very sad situation so going through that, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. It’s very heartbreaking and can take a toll on somebody,” explained Johnson.
Customer Casandra Prickett from Crossville told News 19 she also knows how quickly lung cancer can turn a family’s world upside down. “My uncle just found out that he has stage four lung cancer. He’s dealt with cancer before but lung cancer is serious. You don’t expect something that serious to slap you in the face,” said Prickett.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.
That is why Prickett said she is happy to see what Johnson is doing to help.
“It’s always good to see people stepping out of their way to help others,” said Prickett.
Johnson wants to raise at least $5,000. He is bringing a food truck to the dealership Saturday as another fundraiser. A portion of the money raised goes to the food truck, the other goes to the Relay for Life of Jackson County.
Click here to connect with Johnson and learn about some contactless ways to donate or connect with others who have been impacted by lung cancer.