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Columbus Man Races in 10th Fight For Air Climb to Memorialize Mother

Scott Kemmerling climbed every year of the event; now climbs for much more personal reason

(January 21, 2020) - COlUMBUS

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

Columbus native Scott Kemmerling signed up for the first-ever Fight For Air Climb 10 years ago for a fitness challenge, but this year, he is climbing for a much more personal reason. His mother recently died from lung cancer.

In August 2009, Kemmerling quit smoking after 27 years the day his first grandchild was born. Since he was working on a healthier lifestyle, he decided to sign up for the first-ever Fight For Air Climb event in Columbus.

“It was a way to get out of the house and do something active during the winter months,” he said. “It gradually became just as important to me to stand up for the cause.”

Each year for the past nine years, Kemmerling participated in the Fight For Air Climb with his team, the Airbenders. The Airbenders are a competitive team that regularly places within the top 10 fastest climbers.

Last year, the Fight For Air Climb got more personal for Kemmerling. His mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and was fighting the disease. He climbed in his ninth event in honor of her.

“My mother was a volunteer for several central Ohio organizations for decades. I think I got some of that from her as well. That kept me going through the years,” he said.

In September 2019, Kemmerling’s mother lost her 21-month fight against lung cancer. This year, the Fight For Air Climb has taken on a much more important meaning.

“Last year I climbed for her and this year I will climb in her memory. She is not here, so I am climbing for her,” he said. “This year, I hope to surpass my fundraising goal and to finish with a personal best time.”

On February 15, the Fight For Air Climb celebrates its 10th anniversary and Kemmerling is the only person who has participated every year of the event.

The Fight For Air Climb invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to race up the stairs of Rhodes Tower, a total of 40 floors, 880 steps. To learn more about the Fight For Air Climb, visit


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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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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