American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is More Than a Trip Up the Steps

(November 12, 2012)

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness month as well as COPD Awareness month.

It is during this month that we are reminded why hundreds of dedicated participants in the American Lung Association's upcoming Fight For Air Climb choose to climb.

Tom Brotherton of Liberty Township understands the importance of supporting the mission of the American Lung Association. "Lung disease is something that touches so many people," said Tom, "either directly or via their friends and family."

"In July 2005, I went to see a cardiologist to have a stress test during which time a fist-sized mass was discovered on my right lung," Brotherton recalls. "After several follow on tests, it was revealed to be a characinoid tumor which had to be removed. At the time, my surgeon was not sure if I would lose the entire lung during the procedure due to the size of the tumor, but he was able to save the upper lobe. But the human body has amazing resiliency and my lung capacity is pretty much at 100 percent."

Tom considers himself one of the lucky ones, but knows there are many others still fighting their own battles with lung disease. Tom climbs not for himself, but for those who cannot. Last year he dedicated his climb to the top of the Carew to a coworker's father who passed away from lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the country, while COPD – which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis – is also a leading cause of death in the U.S. Approximately 373,489 Americans are living with lung cancer.

During 2012, an estimated 226,160 new cases of lung cancer are expected to be diagnosed.

This year's Fight For Air Climb will be held on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at the Carew Tower.

The Fight For Air Climb is a stair climb challenge held to increase awareness and raise money for the American Lung Association's fight against lung disease. Participants climb 45 Floors (804 steps) to the top of Cincinnati's historic Carew Tower.

Novice and expert athletes of all ages are welcome to climb. This February will be Brotherton's fourth year climbing. For those who do not think they can complete the climb, he has a message for you. "I would tell them that people of all ages and physical ability participate in this event, so there is nothing to be afraid of."

When you register for the Fight For Air Climb, you are representing the millions of Americans living with lung disease. To register or make a donation visit or call (513) 985-3990 for more information.