Record Breaking 2,000 Participants Participate in Lung Association’s 12th Annual Fight For Air Climb Boston: Race Up Boston Place
100 New England Fire Departments Join Civilians to Climb 82 Flights of Stairs, Raising Funds and Awareness for Lung Disease
(February 4, 2017) -
Boston, MA – Two thousand people gathered at One Boston Place today, to support the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s 12th Annual Fight For Air Climb Boston: Race Up Boston Place, presented by Boston Private. Participants walked or ran up the building’s 82 flights of stairs, or 789 steps, to raise funds and awareness for lung disease.
“Over the last 12 years, the Boston community has been one of the most enthusiastic and supportive of any that we work with,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We are thrilled to have a record breaking amount of climbers here today, and whether you are suffering from lung disease, are a caretaker, a firefighter or just a concerned friend – we want thank you for being here. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women in this country – but thanks to the funds and awareness you are raising here today, we believe we can change that.”
The crowd included more than 600 firefighters from 100 New England fire departments who climbed during the “Firefighter Challenge” wearing full firefighter gear, weighing up to 50 lbs. Steve Armington, his 20-year-old son Evan and Assistant Chief Mark Moulton decided to take on the challenge as representatives from the Lovell Volunteer Fire Department in Maine, despite the 7-hour round trip drive to Boston. Motivated by competition, community and the Armington’s Aunt Jennifer who is currently battling lung cancer, the small team raised over $3400.
“We were motivated by our fellow firefighters and we are extremely grateful to our community, which has been incredibly supportive,” Steve said. “When we are on a call, we experience the ‘Fight for Air’ first hand. This is a great opportunity to show others what daily life is like for millions with lung disease, and why it’s so important to support the Lung Association in all they do to protect our lung health.”
Participants are drawn to the event for a number of reasons, including to workout, meet new people or even to pay tribute to a loved one. One of the top fundraising team’s this year, One Step At A Time, is made up of fitness lovers, friends and a network of people from the local YMCAs. One of their veteran team members, Steve Nixon, from Wakefield, Massachusetts, will mark his 4th climb this year and the second year in a row as the top individual fundraiser, bringing in nearly a third of the teams $12,000. He participates in memory of his brother Nick who passed away at 69 years old in March 2014 after a five-year battle with lung cancer. Nick was a lifelong nonsmoker.
Steve remembers Nick daily and is proud to continue is legacy through the Fight for Air Climb. “He taught me a lot through his experience with lung cancer. He didn’t complain once. He was a hero in that he dealt with it and it didn’t define him.”
The Boston Fight For Air Climb presented by Boston Private is one a series of signature fundraising events of the American Lung Association, held in prominent skyscrapers across the country. Fight for Air climbs attract both elite athletes and novice stair climbers. Participants can choose to race, run, or walk up the stairs. All proceeds from the Fight For Air Climb will directly fund lung disease research, advocacy and education; including smoking cessation programs, COPD/asthma management, and advocacy for stronger clean air standards.