MLB Auction Winner Honors Family’s Connection to Lung Cancer through Nationals Opportunity Benefitting LUNGevity Foundation


WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) — The Washington Nationals Grounds Crew will have a new team member for the Washington Nationals vs. New York Yankees game on Tuesday, May 19. The winner of a prize through Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings Auction will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on the field as a member of the grounds crew, getting a close up look at the field and the team.

Auction item proceeds benefit LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer nonprofit, raising funds for critical lung cancer research. LUNGevity was chosen as the beneficiary of the auction in special tribute to LUNGevity spokesperson and Major League Baseball family member, former Baltimore Orioles’ public relations director, Monica Barlow, who was only 36 when she died of lung cancer.

Auction item winner Lawrence Fung and his wife, Sarah Yuen, are no strangers to lung cancer.  The disease runs in her family.  Sarah’s uncle, aunt, and paternal grandmother, all nonsmokers, have passed away as a result of lung cancer. Sarah’s father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer nearly four years ago and has been fighting it ever since.

“Monica Pence Barlow’s battle with lung cancer is certainly an inspiration to all who are affected by any deadly disease.  It’s also a very sad reminder that lung cancer affects both old and young, and no one is immune,” shared Lawrence Fung of Brooklyn, NY. “We hope that LUNGevity’s work to fund lung cancer research, to raise awareness, and to provide support continues in earnest. Combining my love for baseball and our family’s direct connection to the disease, donating to this cause is the very least we can do to help LUNGevity’s efforts to improve survival rates and ultimately find a cure for lung cancer.”

“We were pleased to offer this experience as a way to raise awareness and funds for LUNGevity, a cause in which our late colleague, Monica Barlow, was heavily involved,” said Jennifer Giglio, Vice President, Communications for the Nationals. “Monica and her family were enthusiastic supporters of LUNGevity and the work the organization does to help raise funds for the fight against lung cancer. Like the other 29 clubs around Major League Baseball, we are honored to provide experiences that will further that support in her name.”

“It has been amazing to see the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that the 30 teams came up with in support of LUNGevity and our late colleague, Monica Barlow,” Said Josh Rawitch, Senior Vice President, Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks and organizer of the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Auction. “She was an incredibly important part of the baseball community and the Baltimore – Washington Metropolitan community and we know that her legacy will live on in the memories created by these auction winners.”

“LUNGevity Foundation is honored to be the beneficiary of the MLB Winter Meetings Auction and to work with the Washington Nationals on this initiative,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity, “We are grateful for their enthusiasm and support, and we hope to have future opportunities to work together.”

For media interested in photos from the Washington Nationals’ Grounds Crew Experience and/or interviews with LUNGevity spokespeople, please contact Aliza Bran at (202) 414-0798 or at

For more information on LUNGevity Foundation, please visit


About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 221,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically


About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit