Lung Cancer Loss, Lung Disease Risk Brings Springfield Firefighter to the Stairwells in 60 Pounds of Gear
(February 13, 2019) - Springfield, Ill.
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Most firefighters participate in the Fight For Air Climb for fitness, to honor loved ones they lost to lung cancer, or to raise awareness about the risk of lung disease for firefighters. Springfield Fire Department Captain Carl Hinman climbs the tallest building in central Illinois wearing 60 pounds of gear for all of those reasons.
When Hinman was just 19 years old, his father went to the doctor for a regular physical. Some tests revealed a mass in one of his lungs and he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Hinman’s father went through chemotherapy and radiation, but succumbed to the disease within just a few years of his diagnosis.
Years later, Hinman and his wife began running 5K running races and looking for other events to help them stay in shape. His wife soon discovered the Fight For Air Climb at Wyndham Springfield City Centre. Hinman learned that the event supports the American Lung Association and its fight against lung cancer, so they decided to climb.
“I climb because of what I lost and what I have a high risk of. I climb because I watched my father go through his fight with lung cancer and lose that fight,” said Hinman. “I also do it to support what the Lung Association is doing to try to find better treatments for lung cancer and lung disease.”
Today, the Fight For Air Climb has evolved into more than a way for Hinman to stay in shape and raise money for lung cancer research. He rallies his friends and colleagues at the Springfield Fire Department to climb to also raise awareness for lung disease and lung cancer in firefighters.
“We [as firefighters] are six times more likely to contract cancer,” said Hinman. “People don’t realize the number of carcinogens that firefighters are exposed to in a regular house fire.”
This will be Hinman’s fifth year participating in the Fight For Air Climb and his fourth year competing in full firefighter gear, which ads 60-70 pounds of weight while climbing.
“I just appreciate everything the Lung Association is doing for those suffering from lung disease,” said Hinman.
The Fight For Air Climb, presented by CEFCU, is set for March 24, 2019. The event attracts thousands of Illinois residents who race up the stairs of Wyndham Springfield City Centre (32 floors, 532 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 217-787-5864.
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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