Weymouth Woman to Race Up Boston Place in Support of American Lung Association

Kim Fontes to climb in February in memory of mother and her struggle with lung cancer

(November 9, 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. Kim Fontes, Team Captain of the climb team “Wine to the Top” will climb this February in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with lung cancer in 2003.

“Lung cancer is a fascinating disease. My mother was diagnosed with pneumonia and a broken rib. They found the cancer on her spine after it had metastasized from her lungs,” said Fontes. “Most people do not know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer. As I went through her struggle with her, I was drawn to the cause.”

Sadly, Kim’s mom lost her battle after just a few short months. She was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in January and passed away in May. She had quit smoking more than three decades earlier. Kim has participated in the Fight for Air Climb for the past four years with a close friend and co-worker whose mother also lost her battle with lung cancer. This year, Kim will climb as team captain of Wine to the Top, a group of women who support Kim and her efforts to raise awareness of the leading cancer killer.

Kim considers herself a pretty active person. She has participated in walks, runs and road races but says that climbing almost 800 stairs feels like “a blowtorch to the chest”. People living with lung disease struggle to breathe every day, and the American Lung Association is the leading organization fighting day in and day out to eradicate all lung disease. Fight for Air Climbs are being held all over the country to raise money and awareness for lung disease.

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 Wine to the Top Fight for Air Climb team or Kim Fontes at ClimbofyourLife.org

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