Roswell Park Cancer Institute Partners With Lung Association to Fight Lung Cancer

Roswell Risers Ready for Fight for Air Climb at One HSBC Center March 9

(March 8, 2013)

For the third year in a row, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is sponsoring the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s Fight for Air Climb at One HSBC Center in Buffalo.  The event, being held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, brings together people from all walks of life who share a common goal: the eradication of all lung disease.  This year RPCI’s team, Roswell’s Risers, is 26 members strong and the largest corporate team participating in the event.  They’ve set an ambitious goal of raising $8,000 to support the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by preventing lung disease and improving lung health.  To date, the team is well on its way to reaching its goal and ranks first in fundraising among the more than 30 corporate teams taking part. 

“We are inspired by the lung cancer patients we work with every day,” says Rosanne Marinaccio, Senior Patient Access Representative at RPCI and Roswell Risers team leader.  “We see how important it is to maintain healthy lungs and welcome any opportunity to help bring the message of lung health to our community.”

RPCI is America’s first cancer center, founded in 1898 by Dr. Roswell Park, and its partnership with the American Lung Association is a natural fit.  RPCI’s multidisciplinary lung team provides comprehensive, individualized lung cancer care to patients across the region and conducts groundbreaking research in lung cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Its High-Risk Lung Cancer Program is designed to detect lung cancer early—when it is most curable—by screening and monitoring the people most likely to develop the disease, especially smokers. What’s more, RPCI maintains an ongoing initiative to educate firefighters about their unique risk factors, such as exposure to aerosolized chemicals, and how to be proactive in catching the disease early.

To show their support this year, three physician members of Roswell Park’s lung team will be competing in the Fight for Air Climb.  Thoracic surgeons Todd Demmy, MD, FACS, Clinical Chair of Thoracic Surgery; Elisabeth Dexter, MD, FACS, Attending Surgeon and Director of the Thoracic Surgery Training Program; and Anthony Picone, MD, PhD, Interim Medical Director, will all be climbing One HSBC Center’s 800 steps.

“Lung cancer is one of those diseases that is unfortunately often caught at a late stage, making it difficult to treat and cure,” says Dr. Picone. “However, through our early detection efforts at Roswell Park and by continually striving for new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat lung cancer, we’re working diligently to break that trend. All of these efforts are supported by our community coming together for events like this to raise much-needed research dollars and awareness.”

“The Lung Association is not only grateful to have the support of Roswell Park Cancer Institute at our climb, we’re grateful for the work they’re doing every day to reduce the burden of lung cancer on our families and communities,” says Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We believe that no one deserves to die from lung cancer. That’s why in addition to funding lung cancer research, we are focused on both helping people quit smoking and keeping kids from ever starting to smoke.  Fewer smokers mean fewer people with lung cancer and other tobacco-caused diseases.  The programs RPCI operates to prevent and treat lung cancer complement what we do here at the Lung Association.”

Seyler explained that while thousands of people who have never smoked are diagnosed with lung cancer, smoking is still responsible for 85%-90% percent of all diagnoses. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women nationwide. The New York State Department of Health reports that each year, about 4,900 men and more than 4,300 women die from lung cancer.
Those who want to join the Roswell Risers and others in the fight for air can register for the event or make a donation at This is the third year the Lung Association is hosting the Fight for Air Climb in Buffalo. This year, more than 375 participants are expected, including 50 firefighters who will compete in a separate Firefighter Challenge. Participants race or walk up the building’s 38 flights (800 stairs), all to raise money to fight lung disease.

The Fight for Air Climb is generously sponsored by Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo News, WGRZ Channel 2, 103.3 The Edge, Fleet Feet Sports and One HSBC Center. The event is also made possible with the support of national Corporate Team sponsor, Kindred Healthcare.

Those who have questions about the Fight for Air Climb in Buffalo should contact Jaime Anderson at  

For more information about Roswell Park Cancer Institute, please call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email