University at Buffalo Student Returns to Participate in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb-Buffalo | American Lung Association

University at Buffalo Student Returns to Participate in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb-Buffalo

(February 10, 2015)

Kristin Waldby, of Oswengo County, remembers her mother, Kathy Waldby, as one of the most positive people in her life. She plans to hold on to her mother’s positivity to get her through the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s annual Fight for Air Climb-Buffalo on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at One Seneca Tower, formerly the HSBC Center. The event involves climbing a challenging 800 plus steps to reach the top of Buffalo’s tallest building.

Kristin Waldby, a junior at the University at Buffalo, decided to participate in the climb last year after hearing about it through a relative. She climbed to honor her mother, who, at the time was battling lung cancer. “I know my mother loved that I did the climb last year and I know she would support me doing it again this year,” Kristin Waldby said. Despite her poor health condition, Kathy Waldby made the trip from Syracuse, New York to watch her daughter participate in the climb. Since the climb Kathy Waldby lost her battle with lung cancer but her daughter’s commitment to fighting the disease that cut her life short lives on.  

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.

“When we have participants like Kristin participate in the Buffalo Fight for Air Climb, it brings a face to why we have these events,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. Our climbs across the Northeast raise funds to prevent lung disease and to help boost funding needed for research into lung diseases. Our goal is to find better treatments and cures so that families like Kristin’s don’t have to face the pain of losing a loved one prematurely,” Seyler said.

Kristin Waldby said it took many trips to various doctors before her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. “All she had was a consistent cough and the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was. One doctor finally decided to give her a chest X-Ray and that’s when the cancer was diagnosed” Kristin Waldby said.

Kristin Waldby notes that her mother never picked up a cigarette.  It troubles her that many people believe lung cancer is only caused by smoking. “There are a lot of people out there that assume lung cancer is solely caused by smoking.  So while not many people come right out and ask me if smoking is what caused my mother’s cancer, I tell them she never smoked because I know it’s a widespread misconception and I think people need to know the truth:  anyone can get lung cancer. ” Kristin Waldby said.

All proceeds from the Fight for Air Climb: Buffalo will directly fund lung disease research, advocacy and education; including smoking cessation programs, COPD/asthma management, and fighting for stronger clean air standards. To register, learn more about the climb or to make a donation to help save lives, visit the event website at Questions about the event, how to form a team or how to become a volunteer can be directed to Event Manager Annalise de Zoete at or 720.879.2258. The Fight for Air Climb-Buffalo is proudly sponsored by NFTA-Metro, One Seneca Tower, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, The Buffalo News, New York Institute of Massage, WGRZ-TV, M&T Bank, Buffalo Professional Firefighter Association, Local 282, Impact Sports Performance, Erie County Fire Chief’s Mutual Aid Organization and Poland Spring.


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