Local Man Climbs Towers to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Double Lung Transplant
Team 27 tackles towers for Fight For Air Climb in downtown Des Moines
(April 2, 2019) - DES MOINES, Iowa
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Local Des Moines resident Tom Muselman will climb 85 floors, 1,796 steps in the Fight For Air Climb presented by EMC Insurance Companies in Downtown Des Moines to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of his double lung transplant. Muselman will also climb to help raise awareness and research funding for lung disease, which he suffered from for 27 years prior to his transplant.
Muselman’s sons, Jeff and Jason, started climbing in the Fight For Air Climb in downtown Des Moines in 2010, shortly after their father received a double lung transplant. Their climbing team name, Team 27, originated because Muselman suffered from lung disease for 27 years; he was the 27th recipient of a lung transplant from the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics; and his transplant was on June 27, 2009. In 2011, Muselman himself was healthy enough to take part in the Fight For Air Climb, and has been climbing ever since.
“I only climbed one building out of the three the first year, but I felt like I accomplished something. Now I climb all four towers,” said Muselman. “The main reason that I climb is that I would like everyone to breathe clean air and hope that no one else goes through what I went through. People don’t realize what it is to breathe. I couldn’t get the air I needed in my lungs or out of my lungs. It is a big deal to me. We need to do anything we can do to fight lung disease.”
The team, which has grown from three people in 2010 to more than 100 people, is one of the top fundraising teams in the nation. In 2018, the team raised more than $20,915 and over the last nine years, they have raised a total of over $230,000.
“I’m blessed because of God, my donor family, my wife, my sons and my friends. They were all my support group,” said Muselman.
The Fight For Air Climb will take place on April 7 in downtown Des Moines. Registration is currently open online or by calling 515-309-9507.
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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