Spring 2013 Air Matters E-Newsletter

(March 22, 2013)

Renee and Climber GeorgeGreetings!

One of the best things about my job is the chance to travel throughout our region and meet the Lung Association’s many wonderful supporters.

One of those supporters is George Burnham, a 70-year-old health enthusiast who travels all across the country to participate in stair climb events. Despite having asthma, George has climbed in an amazing 53 stairclimbs to date, including 28 to benefit the American Lung Association. George, who currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona, has climbed with the American Lung Association of the Mt. Pacific in Anchorage, Bellevue, Boise, Seattle and most recently, Portland.

According to George, he loves stair climbing because it is great exercise and gives him the opportunity to support worthy charities like the Lung Association. What is even more remarkable about George’s story is that he participated in the Portland stair climb just three months after having open heart surgery.

George is truly an inspiration to all of us at the Lung Association and to everyone who climbs with him. Are you also inspired by George’s story? If so, please visit our events webpage today to learn more about the many opportunities available to raise funds for a great cause…the ability to breathe easily! 

Yours in health,

Renée Klein
President and CEO

Oregon Staff with Dr. KohBreathing Easier at School: Smoke- and Tobacco-Free College Campuses   

On February 28, Lung Association staff and interns joined over 100 public health professionals and students at Portland State University (Ore.) to kick off the Pacific Northwest’s Fresh Air Campus Challenge. This is a first-of-its-kind effort to engage all colleges and universities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to develop and implement a 100 percent smoke- or tobacco-free campus policy.

Special guests at the event included Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, Regional Health Administrator, Region X, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The ALA in Alaska has made significant progress in developing smoke-free policies at local higher education institutions, particularly the University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) to build support for a smoke-free campus. The UAA Smoke-Free Task Force is a collaborative group of students, faculty, staff and community representatives. 

To date, the task force has collected approximately 450 student signatures in support of a smoke-free campus, which has garnered local newspaper, radio and TV coverage. Student task force members were also out in force on Kick Butts Day (March 20), a national day of tobacco prevention activism, to promote tobacco-free lifestyles and gather more signatures.

RATS Woman Rider
Raising Funds, Having Fun!     

Looking to be entertained, get in shape, or meet new people? We have a variety of opportunities to help meet your personal goals, all while supporting healthy lungs and clean air!

              • Lung Association Day at the Seattle Mariners (April 14) – Enjoy a great day of baseball at Safeco Field and help keep kids off tobacco – every ticket purchased at this link donates $5 to the American Lung Association!
              • Fight for Air Climb, Boise (April 27): Stairclimbing is a fun activity that underscores our need for healthy lungs and clean air – if you haven’t yet tried it, sign up today – form a team of family, friends or co-workers!
              • Fight for Air Walk, Seattle (May 5): Join us for a 2.5-mile walk, as well as games, contests, a doggie parade and more! Help us fight lung disease so everyone can breathe easier, including you! Take advantage of early bird registration through April 4.

  • Reach the Beach, Oregon (May 18): Grab your friends and join us for the official start of the Oregon cycling season. Now in its 23rd year, the American Lung Association’s Reach the Beach is one of the best supported rides in the Northwest. Spend the day exploring Oregon by bike.
  • Clean Air Challenge, Alaska (May 18 & 19): This destination ride will take you north on the scenic George Parks Highway to the beautiful Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. There you will be rewarded with an evening of camaraderie and celebration while enjoying the view of Denali and the Alaska Range.
  • Breathe Boot Camp, Seattle: Join a healthy, playful exercise event led by experienced trainers. Second Wednesday of every month at Denny Park. Join anytime between 5:30-6:10 pm; free happy hour follows. Sign up today!

Stairclimb TeamThank you to all of the participants, donors and volunteers from our recent events!

  • Breathe Concert, Honolulu - On February 15, award-winning Hawaiian entertainers came together at the historic Hawaii Theatre to perform and raise awareness of the importance of healthy lungs and clean air.
  • Kaiser Permanente Fight for Air Climb, Portland – Hundreds of supporters took to the stairs in January to raise funds for healthy lungs and clean air. Thanks to your support, we more than doubled our original fundraising goal! 








Radon test kit Raising Radon Awareness for High Risk Homes

The American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific presented at Radon Forum Northwest, which was coordinated by Cascade Radon and took place in Oregon in late January. This event, along with other activities, highlighted the importance of testing for radon.  Stories were featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting and other news outlets throughout January (Radon Action Month), and into February. Interest from residents around the region about radon and lung health remains high following Radon Action Month. The ALA provides valuable radon information and provides discount kits for residents to test their homes. 

The EPA and the American Lung Association recommend that every home be tested for radon. Radon levels vary significantly from one home to another. According to Renée Klein, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific, “Testing is an easy, important way to protect you and your family. If you don’t test, you don’t know.”

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other cancer, claiming more lives than the next four leading cancer killers—breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers—combined. The Lung Association is working hard to reduce the estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. that are radon-related.


Thank you to our featured Title Sponsor of the 2013 Kaiser Permanente Fight for Air Climb in Portland:

Kaiser Permanente