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Former Collegiate Athlete Climbs St. Louis Tower to Inspire Others with Asthma

(March 19, 2019) - ST. LOUIS

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
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St. Louis resident Chris Scaglione is participating in the Fight For Air Climb at Metropolitan Square on March 30 to prove that lung diseases like asthma don’t have to prevent anyone from being a competitive athlete.

Scaglione was diagnosed with asthma at a very young age. As a child, he remembers being hospitalized regularly because of his asthma. Allergies and vigorous activity triggered his asthma and years later, he still remembers what it was like gasping for air during an asthma event.

“It is a desperate feeling to be struggling to take a breath. I still remember it – being a kid struggling to breathe,” he said. “The relief that would come from taking medicine often wasn’t enough. Sometimes going to the hospital was the only answer.”

Since he is an avid sports fan, he never let his asthma prevent him from competing in sports and especially playing soccer. During his high school years, he wasn’t quite able to advance as a player on the field, so he found his niche in the net as a goalie and excelled. He played soccer through college, was named a 3-time All American and was honored in the sports hall of fame at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Even all through college while training my asthma still impacted me,” said Scaglione. “During games, I still brought my inhaler with me onto the field.”

Today, Scaglione’s asthma is well managed and he is still active in sports and fitness. For the last two years, he regularly goes to Orangetheory Fitness, and discovered the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb through a friend.

“The climb is a brilliant way to give people who don’t suffer from lung disease or asthma a glimpse of how it feels,” he said. “In my experience with asthma, the Fight For Air Climb is the closest thing to struggling for that breath.”

This Fight For Air Climb blends Scaglione’s passion for sports and his desire to educate people about asthma. This will be Scaglione’s third year participating in the event.

“For me, I do consider myself one of the lucky ones. Because of all the tremendous research and work that has been done over the years, we are in a significantly better place than we have been related to the treatment and prevention of lung disease. Because of this research, I am thankful that my asthma is under control now,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to have to deal with asthma like I did. The work done by the American Lung Association is something that is a no-brainer for me to get behind because it has benefited so many people, including kids like me directly. It is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.”

The Fight For Air Climb invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to race up the stairs of the tallest building in St. Louis, Metropolitan Square (40 floors, 856 steps), to raise awareness and money to fight lung disease.  Registration for the 2019 Fight For Air Climb is currently open online or by calling 314-627-1025.


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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