New York Woman to Travel to Hartford to Honor Late Fiancé’s Memory in Annual Fight for Air Climb
Danielle Dougherty to Climb 688 Steps to Raise Awareness about Lung Disease
(March 23, 2016) -
EAST HARTFORD,CT – Danielle Dougherty of Halfmoon, New York is traveling to Connecticut to conquer the 688 steps of Hartford 21 in the 9th annual Fight for Air Climb in Hartford. Dougherty is climbing in memory of her late fiancé, Paul Sleasman, who passed away from lung cancer in August 2015. The Fight for Air Climb will take place on Saturday, April 23. Dougherty will participate with the rest of her team, “Just Sayin’,” something Paul was well-known for saying.
The Fight for Air Climb is one of the signature fundraising events of the American Lung Association. The Climbs are held in prominent skyscrapers and other buildings across the country, giving participants the opportunity to join together with friends, family and co-workers as they climb the stairs of the building to the top.
Paul was diagnosed with lung cancer on Christmas Eve 2013. He was 37 years old. Despite an unfortunate prognosis, Paul remained positive. “In the 18 months that he lived, his attitude was nothing short of amazing,” said Dougherty. “He decided to make the most of whatever time he had left and refused to let it get him down.” Paul’s action of taking control of his life included a spur of the moment trip to Alaska plus a road trip down the Pacific Coast to Yosemite National Park. “Those are easily some of the best memories we have together,” Danielle said.
Paul was a former smoker but quit in 2007. Danielle said Paul’s oncologist wasn’t able to say if smoking contributed to the cancer or not. “Lung cancer statistics are still staggering to me. I hope that someday, it loses the stigma it has as being a smoker’s disease. Paul grew up in a time where smoking was still considered kind of a cool thing to do; he quit when it started to become widely known just how bad it was for you, and he had gotten himself in the best shape he'd ever been in. But it still happened to him,” Dougherty said.
“Nobody deserves lung cancer, whether you smoke or not,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Paul’s commitment to quitting is admirable. We are grateful to Danielle and the rest of her team for participating in our Fight for Air Climb in Hartford. Our Fight for Air Climbs are not only fun events, but they offer a great opportunity to educate the public about the risks of lung cancer and other lung diseases.”
For Danielle, losing Paul taught her more than she expected. “I learned that you can be healthier than you've ever been in your life - in fantastic shape, eating well, have given up bad habits - and lung cancer can still happen to you,” Dougherty said.
To find out more or to register go to fightforairclimb.org or contact, Development Manager, Joy Morse at [email protected] or 860-838-4377.