Cheri Crist Fights for Air by Climbing for Mother, Aunt and Grandmother
(October 24, 2014)
Rochester, NY - Cheri Crist has experienced what lung cancer can mean for some families after losing her mother, aunt and grandmother to the disease. By participating in the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s Fight for Air Climb in Rochester, NY,Crist will help the organization spread its mission to improve lung health and prevent lung disease on Saturday, November 15 at Baush & Lomb Place.
Crist of Rochester, wanted to participate in the climb to honor the three women she lost. “I never saw the opportunity. I always saw pink ribbons and breast cancer walks everywhere. Then, when I saw the Fight for Air Climb last year, I was thrilled that I could put time and effort into something that killed my mom, aunt and grandmother,” she 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.
Crist has childhood memories of trying to flush her mother’s cigarettes to stop the smoking. By climbing this year, Crist is hoping she’ll be able to help other families with a similar experience.
“I don’t think lung cancer gets the attention it should. We need to figure out how we treat it and how do we keep people from dying these horrible deaths,” Crist said.
Crist, who participated in the climb last year said she anticipated the challenge being too difficult, but found it to be a rewarding experience. “Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I love how they have cheerleaders on different floors,” she said.
Despite not having the important women in her life. Crist knows her family would be proud. I think they’d be proud I’m speaking up for this hidden, silent killer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer for men and women, but it’s really trailing behind as far as research dollars go and that’s just not cool,” Crist said.
Crist tries to remember her mother during the climb at difficult moments. “I remember how brave my mom was throughout the whole thing. She held it together for everyone. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been struggling to take a breath and trying to make it less traumatic for everyone,” she said.