Climbing to battle lung cancer, disease — one step at a time

Fight for Air Climb at Bank of America Tower benefits American Lung Association

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 370 people participated Saturday in the 15th annual Fight For Air Climb at the Bank of America Tower. The event raised more than $130,000 to fund the American Lung Association’s efforts to end lung disease.

“Once again, this event proved to be as moving as it was rewarding for all who participated, young and old alike,” said Cindy Springer, Senior Manager of Development for the Lung Association. “Thank you to all of our participants, volunteers, and sponsors who came together to help us exceed our fundraising goal and to make a difference in the lives of people facing lung disease and lung cancer.”

It’s not a race but the quickest climber, Troy Alston, finished the 34 floors in 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

Alston said he participates in climbs like this all over the world.

“I found out that competitive stair climbing was a sport, and I felt like I touched more lives, more people to inspire them. So I just stayed with competitive stair climbing,” Alston said.

Among the hundreds of participants, first responders and firefighters made the climb in full gear.

Jack Avery said he participates every year to climb for those who can’t.

“I was diagnosed with COPD 14 years ago, after my first climb, and I asked the doctor, I said, ‘Can I still climb?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yes, that would be good for you.’ So at that time, I was diagnosed with 60% lung capacity. And two years later, they tested me and I had 80% lung capacity,” Avery said.

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