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Lung Cancer Survivor Will Climb The National City Tower in American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb

(January 7, 2016) -

It was 2013, and 53 year old Sally Gettelfinger was doing everything right. She worked hard at the gym, ate healthy, and followed her doctor's orders. And it was paying off. She was losing weight. But when she started coughing up blood, she knew something was wrong.

After a confusing round of tests, treatments, and misdiagnosis, the worst was confirmed. Gettelfinger was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.

"I was scared to death. I thought this was it, I was done. All I could think about was my kids. I thought I'd never meet my grandchildren." Gettelfinger remembered. "It's hard to think about."

But she was a fighter. She bravely faced chemotherapy and a surgery that removed the top half of her lung. She went into a 6-month long recovery and slowly re-learned how to live her life.

"The worst part was feeling like I couldn't do anything. I was frustrated. So when I heard about the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb, I was so determined. Here was this thing that seemed so far out of reach, so far from what I was supposed to be able to do. I had to do it."

Sally worked hard throughout her recovery, tacking a single step at time until she felt confident. On the day of the event, she completed the climb of 780 steps in just over 16 minutes.

"The feeling was indescribable. I had my life back. It felt like I could do anything. And I can't wait to do it again."

Sally Gettelfinger will be back to climb again in the American Lung Association's 3rd Annual Fight for Air Climb at the National City Tower in Louisville on Saturday, February 6th. She looks forward to inspiring other climbers to meet their goals. "You've got to push yourself a little bit and go beyond what you think you're capable of. Nothing is impossible."

To learn more about the event and register for the Fight for Air climb, visit or call Deena Adams at (502) 363-2652.

The Fight for Air Climb raises money to support the programs and services of the American Lung Association in Kentucky. Presenting sponsors include Humana, Cushman & Wakefield, and National City Tower. To learn more about the work of the American Lung Association, visit

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