Woman’s Run Against Lung Cancer to raise funds and awareness
UPPER DARBY » Few people can actually say they are grateful for getting injured in a car accident. Barbara Tullio of Drexel Hill is one of those few. In the fall of 2012, Tullio was driving on State Road in Upper Darby when a driver ran a stop sign and rammed her car. While getting her injuries checked out at a nearby hospital, doctors found a mass on her lung which, shortly thereafter, turned into an unexpected and shocking lung cancer diagnosis.
Not long afterward, Tullio contacted the driver of the vehicle that hit her and invited her to lunch.
“I wanted to genuinely thank her,” Tullio explained. “I didn’t have a single symptom. Lung cancer is a silent killer, that will often spread in a person without exhibiting any obvious symptoms until the cancer is too advanced for treatment. I told her that she saved my life by hitting my car that day.”
It would probably come as no surprise to Tullio’s friends and family that she put a positive spin on an unfortunate situation. In the past five years since her diagnosis, Tullio has handled her condition and ensuing treatments with the same positive outlook, even finding the time and stamina to initiate a Motorcycle Run to raise awareness of Lung Cancer and funds for research.
The second annual “Barb Tullio’s Run Against Lung Cancer” will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at Cornerstone Christian Church, 2275 West Chester Pike, Broomall. Last year, Tullio and her husband Anthony organized the motorcycle run that drew well over 100 people. The bikers raised enough to give $1800 each to the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Association of Cancer Research. The same three organizations will be the recipients of this year’s proceeds.
Bikers and non-bikers are invited to show up at Cornerstone Christian Church, between 9-11 a.m., with no need to sign up in advance. There is no pre-registration required. Kickstands go up to hit the road at 11 a.m. Cost of the ride is $25 and $10 extra if there is a passenger on the bike. The price will cover a continental breakfast, a T-shirt, and food, live music and entertainment at the end destination. The escorted ride will wind through scenic back roads, ending up at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson, 1241 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford where the party will take place. A Chinese raffle will be available, with a wide assortment of gifts and gift certificates. Patches will be available to purchase for $10. People who want more information, can call 610203-6374.
Sponsors for the upcoming Motorcycle Run Against Lung Cancer include the Pennsylvania Coalition of Motorcyclists, Messenger’s Motorcycle Club, Stingers Restaurant, John Hauser’s Drexel Automotive, Joe Larson Contractors, Cornerstone Christian Church, Pretzel Boys, Giant, Acme, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Upper Darby Ink Well, Hannum’s Harley Davidson and others.
Anthony and Barbara will ride, along with a group of friends whom go by the name, “Bikers For Christ.” Barbara rides a HarleyDavidson Trike Tri Glide. Along for the ride on Barb’s bike will be her longtime pal Janire Rodriguez, who will drive up from Orlando, Fla., to be beside her friend for the special day.
“Janire never rode a bike before last year. She found out about the run and drove all the way up here to support me and got on a bike just for the event. Now, that’s a good friend,” Tullio smiled.
A lifelong Delaware County resident, Tullio said that she can attribute her miraculous survivor story “only to God who has been with me the whole way.” After ten rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation in 2012-13, Tullio developed COPD, headaches, swollen limbs, esophagitis and a host of several other side effects. In the years that followed, she’s had more chemotherapy and more radiation. Tests showed that she also developed brain cancer, which led to more radiation, loss of hair and many side effects. In August she had Cyberknife brain surgery and is currently on the immunotherapy drug Opdivo.
“I’ve been through a lot,” Tullio admits, shaking her head thinking about it all. “That’s not even the half of it, and believe it or not, I was a health nut before this all
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“This is going to be a fantastic event, bigger and better than last year. We expect upwards of 150 bikers. I hope non-bikers come too. They are welcome to ride along or meet us at the after-party in Chadds Ford. If we raised almost $6,000 last year, I know we can top that number this year. Together, we can make a difference.”
— Barbara Tullio of Drexel Hill
Some participants are pictured with Barb and Tony Tullio at last year’s Run Against Lung Cancer. The inaugural Run raised $1,800. This year’s Run is expected to be much bigger and raise even more money. To participate, come to Cornerstone Christian Church in Broomall between 9-11 on Sept. 23. No pre-registration is required.
Barbara Tullio of Drexel Hill is spearheading the Second Annual Barb Tullio’s Run Against Lung Cancer Saturday, Sept. 23, to bring awareness and to raise money for the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Association of Cancer Research. For more information, call 610-2036374.