Fight for Air
Personal story behind this great fundraiser for the American Lung Association Video by tmj4.comvideo
Fifteen minutes of your time could help save millions of lives.
It's called the "Fight for Air" Climb.
It's a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, and it's March 20th at the US Bank building in downtown Milwaukee. You can keep track of your time, or simply take your time. Either way, you will help fight lung diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer.
The climb is very personal for the hundreds who make the trek, including Gwendolyn Long of Milwaukee. Gwendolyn lost a loved one to asthma just over a year ago.
We caught up with her at the North Shore Wisconsin Athletic Club, where she's training for the big climb.
"My nephew passed away in December of 2008 from asthma complications and so I wanted to do something for asthma, something for lung disease," Long told us.
Travell Richardson was just 22 years old when he died. Hef left behind a young son and a loving family who wishes they could have done more to help.
"He had an asthma attack out of town and so he had passed away, he wasn't with any family at the time" Long told us sadly.
She keeps Travell's memory alive with the tattoo on her wrist and her work with the American Lung Association, including the "Fight for Air" climb.
"It's a really good metaphor, when you're climbing those steps to see how it feels to have breathing problems," she explained.
Millions of americans struggle to breathe every day. 23 million people, many of them children, have asthma. More than 13-million have COPD. And 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer... the deadliest cancer... every year.
Sue Swan, the executive director of the southeastern branch of the American Lung Association, said it's an ongoing battle for cleaner air, education, and better health and research.
"We're really fighting for air for individuals who are really struggling with lung disease through our programs and services to really have an impact on their families," Swan told us.
Swan said the climb up 1,000+ steps is a great workout and fundraiser. It's also a reminder for all of us, that not everyone is able to make the trek.
"Many people are climbing for people who can't people who have either lost people to lung dieases or have overcome lung disease or have gotten to the point in their own illness that they've managed it that they can do the climb and are so proud," Swan said.
Long plans to take it one step at a time.
"You gotta keep pushing yourself, and I talk to myself so I can make myself keep going," she said.
The ALA hopes to register 1200 climbers for Saturday's event. Call 1-800-lung-usa to sign up. There is a $25 fee to register, and a $100 fundraising minimum.