Team of iRobot Corp. Employees Will Climb to Fight Lung Disease with the American Lung Association

Paul Balutis takes to the stairs in memory of his grandfather

BOSTON, MA (January 14, 2013)

On Saturday, February 2, the American Lung Association of the Northeast will host the 8th annual “Race Up Boston Place” Fight for Air Climb. Participants, including teams of firefighters, come from across the Northeast and beyond to reach the top of One Boston Place in support of lung health. This year a team of iRobot Corp. employees, a team that cleverly calls themselves ‘iClimb’, will race up the 789 steps of One Boston Place to support the Fight for Air.

Paul Balutis III, a member of the iClimb team, is driven by the memory of his grandfather, also named Paul Balutis. “I can remember my grandfather trying to fight his addiction to smoking and a host of ailments because of it,” said Balutis. “In spite of his poor health, he was such a great grandfather; always there to take me fishing or golfing.” Sadly, Paul’s grandfather passed away in 1998 after ultimately losing his battle with throat cancer.

Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death. Because of the health problems Paul’s grandfather dealt with day in and day out, he has made the decision to never smoke himself. Paul considers himself an active person, running 5ks and other races to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. That is why when a coworker came across a listing for the Boston Fight for Air Climb, Paul thought it would be a great athletic event, and he could honor his grandfather’s memory.

Members of the iClimb climb team are all getting involved for various reasons. Some have been personally touched by lung disease and some choose to live active lifestyles. However, there is one common denominator among all seven team members: they are all robot engineers who find it difficult designing around stairs. This particular group of climbers were drawn to the event as a way to spend some times on the stairs, and to take their findings back to the office.

To train for the Fight for Air Climb, team members get together as much as they can and run hills near their Bedford office. They are all looking forward to tackling the stairs this February in support of the American Lung Association. Donations can be made on behalf of Paul or the iClimb team at ClimbofyourLife.org. The American Lung Association reinvests 79 cents on every dollar to support research, education and advocacy related to lung disease and lung health.

 “Millions of people in the Northeast struggle with their addiction to cigarettes and other tobacco products,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “The American Lung Association is committed to reducing the burden of tobacco use on all Americans. We advocate for federal and state governments to assist smokers in their quit attempts to the fullest extent.”

More than 1,400 are expected to race, run or walk up the 789 stairs of One Boston Place in support of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. Kindred Hospital Boston is the premier sponsor of the eighth annual “Race Up Boston Place.” Additional sponsors include CB Richard Ellis, Captivate Network, Kindred Hospital Stoughton, Genentech, Poland Spring, Whole Foods Market, 100.7 WZLX, and Mix 104.1. The event is also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare.