Maryland Firefighter Coming to Boston for American Lung Association's Race Up Boston Place

David Dushkin climbs to honor loved ones with various lung health issues

(November 6, 2012)

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. Hailing all the way from Annapolis, Maryland, is David Dushkin and a team of firefighters hoping to return home with the firefighter trophy.

Dushkin first heard about the Fight for Air Climb from a friend residing in the Boston area. He was immediately drawn to the event because of his personal experiences with lung disease. “My father is a COPD patient who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Dushkin. “I have watched both my grandmother and stepmother lose long, hard battles with lung cancer in my lifetime. I also want to do this event for my friend’s son, Sean. Sean is eight years old and suffers from severe pediatric asthma. This is my way to honor them all.”

Dushkin’s father suffered from a persistent cough that he attributed to chronic bronchitis. He visited his doctor and almost overnight was diagnosed with lung cancer. In July, doctors removed a portion of the affected lung. “We have been lucky. He is in recovery and has avoided chemo so far,” explains David.

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the single leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States. The American Lung Association is working hard to reduce the stigma of this disease; no one deserves lung cancer. While smoking is responsible for approximately 90% of lung cancer cases, other causes include radon exposure and industrial exposures to hazardous materials like asbestos and arsenic; even some genetic factors pose a lung cancer risk.

“Millions of people in the Northeast are living with lung cancer and other lung diseases, and countless more family members and loved ones are affected by their diagnoses,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “The American Lung Association is committed to reducing the burden of lung disease on all Americans through education, advocacy and research.”

Federal funding for lung cancer research falls dramatically behind funding for cancers like breast, colon and prostate; yet the 5-year survival rate is just 15%. The American Lung Association funds nationwide research that focuses on preventing lung cancer, increasing the survival rate and reducing its effects on patients’ quality of life.  The nonprofit organization is funding several research projects, as reported in the recently released Research Awards Nationwide 2012-2013. A full report of all American Lung Association funded research is available at Lung.org/research.

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. The eighth annual “Race Up Boston Place” is generously sponsored by CB Richard Ellis, Captivate Network, Poland Spring, 100.7 WZLX, and Mix 104.1. The event is also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare. The American Lung Association reinvests 79 cents on every dollar to support research, education and advocacy related to lung disease and lung health. Donations can be made on behalf of the Annapolis Professional Firefighters or David Dushkin at fightforairclimb.org. For more info, contact Event Manager Erin Hickey-Reardon at (781) 314-9005 or bostonclimb@lungne.org.

# # #