Westford Man to Race Up Boston Place in Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb

Matt Story climbs as a way to honor uncle battling lung cancer

(November 14, 2012)

On Saturday, February 2, the American Lung Association of the Northeast will host its 8th annual “Race Up Boston Place” Fight for Air Climb.  The event raises money to support the Lung Association’s mission of saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.  For Matt Story of Westford, participating in the event is a way for him to honor and support his uncle,  Dave Allen, who lives in New Hampshire and has been battling lung cancer since 2011.  Story, who first climbed in his uncle’s honor just last year, looks forward to joining the 1,400 plus participants from across the Northeast and beyond who all share a common goal of seeing lung cancer, and all lung disease, eradicated.

Story first heard about the Fight for Air Climb last year from a friend and immediately thought that it was an event that he should support and become involved with. He and his family had just learned of his Uncle Dave’s lung cancer diagnosis and participating in the climb was a way to honor his uncle and take action on his behalf.  Story signed up for the climb and began fundraising by sending emails to family and friends asking for their support.  He was pleasantly surprised by the number of generous pledges that began rolling in. In total he raised over $900 last year.

 “Since he was first diagnosed, my Uncle Dave has undergone chemotherapy and continues to fight this thing with everything he has,” said Story.  “He has ups and downs and is on an upswing at the moment which we’re very thankful for.”   Story says he cherishes the time he spends with his uncle.  “This past summer, my Uncle Dave was able to go fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee which is one of his favorite pastimes.  My son and I were able to join him for a few of those trips and that was very special. He is in my thoughts and prayers every day and he is why I’m running in the Fight for Air Climb.  For the climb, I place his initials on my arm and reflect on the battles he has gone through - and continues to go through - while I am climbing.  That gives me the strength I need to reach the top.”

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 Boston, and Boston’s 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. For more information about the event or to make a donation that can save lives, visit climbofyourlife.org.

To learn more about lung cancer, visit:  http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/

To learn more about the Lung Association’s Guidance on Lung Cancer Screening, visit:  http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-screening-guidelines/