Severe Asthmatic Joins Chicago’s Biggest Stair Climb to Inspire Others | American Lung Association

Severe Asthmatic Joins Chicago’s Biggest Stair Climb to Inspire Others

(March 5, 2018) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
(312) 445-2501

Dr. Renee Matthews grew up with asthma and allergies so severe that even the smell of seafood cooking could trigger an asthma attack and a trip to the emergency room. Now, she hopes to help those who suffer from the same chronic lung disease by climbing in the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago’s Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers presented by UnitedHealthcare on March 11.

Dr. Matthews was just two months old when she was diagnosed with asthma, as well as severe food allergies to eggs, seafood, chocolates, nuts, citrus fruits, wheat, rye and barley. During certain times of the year, she remembers being in the emergency room almost nightly because of asthma attacks.

“One time, I had an asthma attack so severe that I had to be taken to the ER in an ambulance, then I remained in the hospital for five days,” said Dr. Matthews. “I had an oxygen backpack and was on daily asthma medication most of my life. March marks one year since my doctor gave me the go ahead not to take daily asthma meds.”

Severe asthma has never kept Dr. Matthews from doing what she loves and taking on new challenges. Her devotion to health is why she became a physician and she believes that everyone should “live the life you deserve.” In 2010, she trained for and completed a half marathon and on March 11, she will tackle the Presidential Towers in the Fight For Air Climb for the very first time. There are four Presidential Towers, each with 45 floors, 585 steps, so those who climb all four towers will complete a total of 180 floors, 2,340 steps.

“I want people to understand that if I can do it, then anyone can do it,” said Dr. Matthews.

The 2018 Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers presented by UnitedHealthcare is on Sunday, March 11 at 7 a.m. Registration for the 2018 Fight For Air Climb is currently open online or by calling 312-781-1100.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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