Family to take the Fight for Air Climb

Jacksonville family honoring mother through Through Fight for Air Climb

Author: Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 28 2014 08:12:58 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 28 2014 12:11:20 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Did you know lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States? It kills more men and women than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

That is why hundreds of people are climbing this weekend to raise money to find a cure.

The Fight for Air Climb is Saturday at the Bank of America Building downtown.

Channel 4's Jen Waugh spoke with a local couple training to climb the 838 stairs. They know all too well the dangers of lung disease.

Debbie Lind was a spin instructor and step aerobics instructor and Kyle, Debbie's son, said she was the epitome of health: very active and she never smoked.

You can imagine the surprise when she was diagnosed with spinal and lung cancer.

"I couldn't believe it," said Lind.

A blood clot in his mom's leg sent her to the doctor and blood tests revealed it was much worse.

The biggest change from the spine cancer was that she wasn't able to move around and do things like she used to be able to. Lind said it broke his mother's spirit.

"I'd never known her not sick. She would always say i want to come," said Sarah Knight.

Kyle's girlfriend, Sarah aid Debbie's life and death pushed them to do more to help the millions of others still living with lung disease.

They're doing it, one step at a time. Raising money for February's Fight for Air Climb inside the Bank of American building.

They've formed a team, training for the 42 flight vertical race.

"It's all her friends that are on this team that do it just for her because they knew her," said Lind.

Debbie was a nurse at Brooks Rehab. Many of her co- workers will climb in her name.

It's Kyle's way to honor is mother. His father was by his wife's bedside for three years as she battled cancer. He will be climbing too.

"It's really phenomenal the way he took care of her, you pray that someone will love you and take care of you like that," said Lind.

The reality is that the money from fundraisers like the Fight for Air Climb is needed to fund research so no other family has to go through the same heartache as the Lind family.

Having participated in the climb for the last two years, Waugh can tell you that it's not like running a race. If you are in decent shape, maybe you're just a walker, you can participate in this climb on Saturday.

It takes the average person between 10-20 minutes to complete.

To join, go to climb jax.org.