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Local Fire Departments Join Nearly 200 Participants For American Lung Association’s 7th Annual Fight For Air Climb Rochester

(November 3, 2018) - ROCHESTER, N.Y.

For more information please contact:

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

The American Lung Association in New York hosted the 7th Annual Fight For Air Climb in Rochester on Saturday November 3, 2018, when 200 participants journeyed up 19 floors, or 400 steps, to the top of First Federal Plaza.  The event raised nearly $50,000 for lung disease research, advocacy and education. 

“Our Fight for Air Climb Rochester consistently shows the spirit of this community,” said Jeff Seyler, Chief Division Officer of the American Lung Association.  “We are especially proud to get such an incredible turn out of firefighters from all around Western New York.  These folks know the ‘fight for air’ first hand, and we are proud to climb alongside them to raise funds and awareness for lung disease and lung cancer.”

Climbers traveled from all over the Northeast, as well as Canada, and included over 50 firefighters from 11 local departments who made the climb wearing full fire-fighting gear, weighing up to 70 lbs.  Following the event at awards were given out to the winners of each category, including first place male and female civilians, Ed Badida and Lorraine Zukaitis; and first place male and female Firefighters, Adrian Luh (Egypt Fire) and Beth Burchill (Rochester Protectives).  The Lung Association’s Fight for Air climbs attract both elite athletes and novice stair climbers. Participants can choose to race, run, or walk up the stairs.

Churchville, New York resident, Tim Pietrzykowski was one of the firefighters making the climb.  He took on the event to honor his grandfather, Everett Norris, who passed away in 2015 after suffering from chronic lung disease, as well as his dear friend Michael Tenebruso, who lost his life earlier this year when stage 4 colon cancer spread to his lungs.  Tim has also had to fight for his own lung health, both as a firefighter, and through a personal experience with a benign tumor that interfered with his ability to breath. 

He said, “I’ve lived the fight for air – and if I can help others in their fight by climbing these stairs, it’s something I am proud to do.  My friend Michael used to say ‘We don't know how much time we have in life, so you do the best you can, that's all you can do’ and that’s why I am here.”

For over 100 years the Lung Association has been at the forefront of the Fight for Air. All proceeds from the Fight for Air Climb in Rochester will directly fund lung disease research, advocacy and education; including smoking cessation programs, COPD/asthma management, and advocacy for stronger clean air standards.   The event was locally sponsored by First Federal Plaza, WROC Channel 8, East Avenue Inn & Suites, and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

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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: Lung.org.

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