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American Lung Association Joined by American Ninja Warrior Najee Richardson and NYPD for 9th Annual Fight For Air Climb New York City

Over 700 Participants Climbed 1210 Steps to Top of One Penn Plaza in Support of the More than 33 Million Americans with Lung Disease

(April 6, 2019) - NEW YORK

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon
[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

The American Lung Association celebrated its 9th annual Fight For Air Climb New York City today, with a roster that included Najee Richardson, also known as American Ninja Warrior’s the Flying Phoenix, a team from the New York Police Department, and nearly 30 NYC-metro area firefighters and first responders.  Hundreds of participants lined up to climb the 55 flights, or 1,210 steps to the top of the One Penn Plaza skyscraper, to raise $245,000 and awareness for healthy air and healthy lungs. 

“Every step that our climbers take today is about the Fight For Air.  As they fight their way to the top of One Penn Plaza, we remember that there are people, our loved ones, our neighbors, our colleagues that experience that fight every day. We also remember the many lives lost to lung disease,” said Carla Sterling, Executive Director for the American Lung Association in New York City.  “Supporting the American Lung Association’s mission to fund research advocacy and education is vital in getting us one more step toward a lung disease-free tomorrow.”

PHOTOS & VIDEO AVAILABLE: Email [email protected] or at 

Richardson, who has battled asthma since he was born, has not allowed the disease to define him or derail his goals. In 2018, despite asthma slowing him down at times, Najee became a finalist on the television competition series, American Ninja Warrior. He’s now partnered with the American Lung Association and will participate in a total of 5 climbs in 2019, across the nation.

“Today, we will climb One Penn Plaza’s 55 flights of stairs – that’s 1210 steps – in support of the American Lung Association and for those who are facing a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe every day,”said Richardson.  The Fight For Air Climb New York City will show that together we can defeat lung disease”

Alongside Richardson’s climb team, members of the esteemed NYPD, local firefighters and first responder teams will be scaling the stairs in full gear to raise funds in support of the American Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. This is the first year the NYPD will participate in the Fight For Air Climb, and the team will be led by Officer Brian Kelly, from the Midtown South Precinct, who recently lost his mother to lung cancer.

Kelly said, “As an avid runner and athlete, when I was asked to participate in the Fight for Air Climb, it was a no brainer. Having recently lost my mother to Lung Cancer, I knew I wanted to spread the word about the Climb and lung disease. I was thrilled at how many of my fellow NYPD colleagues accepted the challenge. I am eager to work with them American Lung Association to help all those who fight this disease every day, and in memory of those who have already lost their fight."

Registration  for the Fight For Air Climb New York City is $35 per participant in advance of $50 the day-of, and includes a $100 fundraising minimum.  Najee also has a virtual national Climb team for those who want to support Najee and the American Lung Association but live outside of New York City. Virtual climbers can register at

For more information or to register, contact [email protected] or 917-210-5647or visit Follow us on social media @LungNE and share your posts using #FlyingPhoenixClimb!


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 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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