Two Long-Time Friends Prepare to Support Each Other in the Fight for Air Climb: Buffalo | American Lung Association

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Two Long-Time Friends Prepare to Support Each Other in the Fight for Air Climb: Buffalo

(March 9, 2015)

For Lori Luh, of Niagara Falls, and her best friend Margie Werner, of the town of Niagara, the last two years of their friendship has been an emotional rollercoaster. Two years ago, Werner was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer; watching her friend battle the disease has been both a struggle and empowering for Luh. The Niagara Falls native is participating in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb: Buffalo on Saturday, March 14 at One Seneca Tower, the former HSBC Center, to help her best friend.   

“Margie is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my entire life; she’s my hero,” Luh said.

Fight for Air Climbs are the American Lung Association’s most unique fundraisers. Climbs take place in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve walking, running or racing up hundreds of steps. Sometimes called a "vertical road race", teams and individual participants can use the event as a fitness target, as a race, or as a great way to be active and meet new friends.

Despite her struggles with cancer, Luh said Werner’s diagnoses doesn’t stop her from overcoming her obstacles; in fact, Werner will be participating in the Fight for Air Climb with Luh. The long-time friends will be climbing the 800 plus stairs together.  “This doesn’t stop her, she just keeps pushing through everything that comes her way,” Luh said. 

“Lori and Margie’s story are what our Fight for Air Climbs are all about; bringing people together in a unique, fun  way to raise funds for lung disease research,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “It is great to see Lori uplifting and supporting Margie during her time of treatment. We appreciate both of these women participating in our Fight for Air Climb and we hope to continue working with them in future climbs.”

This year is Luh’s first time participating in the Fight for Air Climb and she’s been exercising frequently to prepare. Despite the physical challenge, Luh said she is determined to finish the climb, not only for herself and Werner, but for other relatives she’s lost to lung cancer; such as her mother-in-law and father. Luh’s nephews also experience severe asthma. 

“I’m happy I was able to find something to help people who share the same experiences as my loved ones. I don’t think a lot people realize what it’s like to struggle to breathe or to watch someone you care about struggle to take a breath. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and you can’t take it for granted,” Luh said. 

All proceeds from the Fight for Air Climb: Buffalo will directly fund lung disease research, advocacy and education; including smoking cessation programs, COPD/asthma management, and fighting for stronger clean air standards. To register, learn more about the climb or to make a donation to help save lives, visit the event website at fightforairclimb.org. Questions about the event, how to form a team or how to become a volunteer can be directed to Event Manager Annalise de Zoete at BuffaloClimb@LungNE.org or 585-666-1402.. The Fight for Air Climb-Buffalo is proudly sponsored by NFTA-Metro, One Seneca Tower, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, The Buffalo News, New York Institute of Massage, WGRZ-TV, M&T Bank, Buffalo Professional Firefighter Association, Local 282, Impact Sports Performance, Erie County Fire Chief’s Mutual Aid Organization and Poland Spring.

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