Branford Resident Dedicates her Participation in the Fight for Air Climb: New Haven to her Brother | American Lung Association

Branford Resident Dedicates her Participation in the Fight for Air Climb: New Haven to her Brother

(February 26, 2015)

As the date approaches, Marcelle Applewhaite, of Branford remembers the reaction some gave her when she announced she would be participating in the Fight for Air Climb: New Haven. “People thought I was crazy, but I told them that if I can do it, they can do it,” she said. Applewhaite will be participating in the fourth annual Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, February 28 at 360 State Street. Registration will begin 8 a.m. and the first climber will start at 9 a.m.

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. 

While some might have been skeptical if Applewhaite could make it up the 531 steps in the 360 State Street, she was dedicated to completing it for personal reasons. Four years ago, Applewhaite’s brother, Michael, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Currently, Michael continues to receive treatment for the cancer.  “The climb was a great way for me to do something physical for myself and to honor my brother,” she said.  

While Applewhaite said Michael was a smoker for many years, it is important to remember no one deserves lung cancer. “He quit many years ago and right now I believe he is going through a life transformation right now,”she said. Michael was a Vietnam veteran and Applewhaite believe it’s her brother’s perseverance and positive outlook on life that has pushed him through his cancer treatment. "The size of the tumor could have determined his outcome, however he has never let  cancer define him“,” she said.. 

“The American Lung Association is honored to have Marcelle participating in our Fight for Air Climb,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “When we have participants like Marcelle come to our climbs, it gives the public a better understanding of why we have these events to raise funding for lung disease research.  I admire Michael for keeping such a positive attitude throughout his cancer treatment, it’s people like him who give others going through the same experience hope,” Seyler said. 

While Applewhaite participates in the Fight for Air Climb for her brother, she hopes others will get involved to help expand lung disease research. “The more research that’s possible, the better,” she said. 

To find out more or register for the Fight for Air Climb: New Haven visit or contact Danielle Ferrari, Event Manager at or 860.838.4371. The Fight for Air Climb: New Haven is proudly sponsored by Elm City Market, The Trinity Bar & Restaurant, Poland Springs, Telemundo, Channel 3, Yale-New Haven Hospital, 360 Street, AMP Radio Network and Radio 104.1 WMRQ. 

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