Tower Climb Gets Personal For Iowa Man
(April 2, 2018) -
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Iowa resident Mark Whitfield first signed up for the Fight For Air Climb in Downtown Des Moines to participate in a fun event with his family, but his reason for climbing changed dramatically this year. Last spring, he was diagnosed with asthma, so now he climbs to raise awareness about the lung disease he fights daily. He also raises funds for life-saving lung disease research, which affects 200,000 Iowans.
Whitfield originally volunteered for the Fight For Air Climb with his family. After a couple of years volunteering, he was inspired by the impact of the event and decided that it was his turn to tackle the four towers. He got hooked on climbing, but fell ill in the winter of 2016. He suffered from bronchitis that winter and was unable to participate in the Fight For Air Climb in 2017.
“It really crushed me last year when I wasn’t able to do the climb with my team,” he said. “My color was so bad. I didn’t realize how sick I was at the time.”
Shortly after that, Whitfield was diagnosed with asthma, but with the help of his doctor he is now healthy and his asthma is controlled. He plans to return to tackle all four towers once again in the Fight For Air Climb in Downtown Des Moines on April 8, a total of 85 floors, 1,796 steps. In addition to participating, Whitfield and his family will return as lead volunteers.
“When I first did it, it was to prove to myself that I could do it,” said Whitfield. “This Climb means more to me because it’s now personal. I need to do this because lung disease is now effecting me and my family. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me and my family.”
The Fight For Air Climb presented by Hubbell Realty Company will take place on April 8, 2018 in downtown Des Moines. Registration for the 15th Annual Fight For Air Climb is currently open online or by calling 515-309-9507.
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: Lung.org.