Local Firefighter Accepts Challenge to Climb 44 Flights for the American Lung Association of the Northeast
(December 10, 2014)
Providence, RI - When Luke Lewis of Warwick, Rhode Island, started his weight loss journey two years ago, participating in the Providence Fight for Air Climb might have been a challenge. Now, Lewis enjoys competing in multiple climbs to continue pushing his body to gain strength. This year, he’ll be taking part in the climb twice; once in his firefighter gear, representing the Oneco Fire Department and again with his colleagues from Team HemoGlobin Trotters representing Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
Lewis will participate in the Providence Fight for Air Climb and will climb the 348 steps of the Omni Providence Hotel on Saturday, March 28, 2014. The Omni Hotel is located at One West Exchange Street. About 1,000 participants are expected, including firefighters in full gear. Awards will be given at the after-party at Union Station Brewery.
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.
“I think working in the medical field on the front line you learn not to take certain things for granted because you see things differently. Especially as firefighters, we’re constantly protecting our lungs when we go into buildings,” Lewis said.
Over the past two years, Lewis has lost over 100 pounds. As a firefighter, he continues to stay in shape by staying active in various 5K, 6K and 10K races wearing all 58 pounds of his firefighter gear. Lewis participates in such events with a group called Team Firefighter, which is a group of firefighters from across the Northeast and Canada, who are also competitive athletes.
“Our Fight for Air Climbs are a great way for people to stay in shape,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO and President of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “The physical challenge of climbing hundreds of steps to help fight lung disease is a great way to bring people together. We are grateful for participants like Luke, who are willing to devote time to helping the Lung Association spread its mission of improving lung health and preventing lung disease by climbing not once, but twice.”
While, participating twice in the climb may intimidate some, Lewis is anxiously awaiting the challenge. “Two years ago, maybe I would have been nervous. But now I’m up for the challenge and I can’t wait,” Lewis said.
Lewis says he continues to stay involved in the climbs because he enjoys the camaraderie and the competiveness of the climb. “I’m a very physical person, I’ll find any excuse to stay active,” Lewis said.
To register or learn more about the Fight for Air Climb: Providence, visit FightforAirClimb.org or contact Daniel Bowler, Manager of Development at ProvClimb@LungNe.org. You can now register for the event for $35. There is a $100 fundraising minimum per person due by the day of the event. The Fight for Air Climb: Providence is proudly sponsored by WJAR NBC 10, iHeartMedia, Omni Hotels & Resorts, MetLife, Amica, Absolute Respiratory Care, GTECH, Coastline EMS & Union Station Brewery.