As we enter the best sporting event series of the year, also known as March Madness, we are thinking about all things basketball and brackets here at MJ. And yes, we are a little biased as our company was founded in Indiana. One thing is for certain though, as we watch the games play out on our TVs, we will inevitably, at one point or another, think that WE, ourselves, could have made that buzzer-winning shot or wouldn’t have missed that free throw.  

One thing that probably won’t cross our minds is how difficult it must be for these athletes to run up and down the court breathing normally. This is because breathing is something we often take for granted as we all take a breath12 to 15 times per minute at rest. 

While this is something our bodies do innately when our lungs are in great health, not everyone is that fortunate. When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters. ® 

For more than 115 years, Americans have trusted the American Lung Association to protect their lungs, whether it’s researching treatments and cures for lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, including e-cigarettes or advocating for laws that protect the air we all breathe. 

They have big goals—defeat lung cancer, create a tobacco-free future, champion clean air for all and improve the quality of life for those living with lung disease. The American Lung Association aims to meet these goals through education, advocacy and research. 


  • About every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer, and every day, lung cancer takes the lives of more than 382 of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. 
  • The “State of the Air” 2022 report finds that despite decades of progress on cleaning up sources of air pollution, more than 40% of Americans—over 137 million people—are living in places with failing grades for unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone.  
  • People of color were 61% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one pollutant and are 3.6 times as likely to live in a county with failing grades for all three pollutants.  
  • Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. 

While it’s so easy to not think about the act of breathing every day, the numbers listed above truly put into perspective the importance of our lung health. Despite these alarming statistics the American Lung Association is doing work each and every day to combat these numbers. 


From our participation in the LUNG FORCE walk in Phoenix to the Fight for Air Climb in Indianapolis to our Colorado Market President serving as Board Chair for the American Lung Association in Colorado—it’s a cause close to the hearts of many at MJ.  

“My decision to join this board was twofold…I sought a voluntary leadership position within our community as a way to give back my time, personally and professionally, with an organization that matters to me and my family. And with a family history of lung disease and related loss, the mission of the American Lung Association was a strong match for my passion and focus. After all, if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” – Courtney Hutchison, MJ Market President – Colorado, Board Chair for the American Lung Association in Colorado 

The work of the American Lung Association allows us to live our Purpose every day. It, too, exists to inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person it serves through its programming and extensive research efforts to better our health and planet.  


Want to help improve lung health and prevent lung disease? See how you can get involved! 

  • Attend an Event – there are events for everyone regardless of city location! Be sure to see what events are taking place in your city!
  • Volunteer – whether its helping plan an event or leading a Freedom From Smoking program, there are volunteer opportunities for everyone.  
  • Share Your Story – Inspire others by sharing the story of how lung disease or air quality affected you or someone you love.  
  • Donate – Your personal contribution can be made online at any time. You will be supporting the vital research and programs that help those struggling with lung disease.
  • Change for Lungs – This unique donation opportunity is a great way to give back! Pick any credit card or bank account and have all your purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar. All change donated will go towards the American Lung Association. 

So now, as you watch the greatest sporting event series of the year, you will have a fresh perspective of those athletes as they run up and down the court; maybe you’ll even be more aware of your breathing and realize just how important those trusty lungs of yours are; we know we will.