This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Woman Climbs Four Chicago Towers to Memorialize Family Lost to Lung Cancer

(January 14, 2020) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

Chicagoland resident Cheryl (Jenkins) Peterson’s family has been devastated by lung disease and lung cancer. To help memorialize her sister and her dad, who both died from lung cancer, she will participate in the Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Tower sponsored by UnitedHealthcare on March 8.

Peterson first heard about the Fight For Air Climb five years ago when she received an email about the event from her company. At the time, she was a caregiver for her father who was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Shortly after she signed up, her sister was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer.

“Before my first climb, my brother died from a heart attack, my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer, and my dad was fighting COPD, Lung cancer and emphysema,” she said. “It was heartbreaking.”

She participated in her first Fight For Air Climb event in March 2016. The next year, she signed up for her second climb event with the goal of honoring her dad and her sister. Unfortunately, that December, her sister succumbed to lung cancer. Just two weeks after her second Climb, in March 2017, her dad also passed away from lung cancer.

“Watching them struggle to breathe is very difficult to watch,” said Peterson. “I climb for my sister and my dad and anyone who struggles to breathe. I want to help the Lung Association find new treatments and a cure for lung cancer.”

Peterson is passionate about the Fight For Air Climb and supporting the American Lung Association. She is the captain of her company’s climb team, is the co-chair of the Fight For Air Climb Planning Committee and volunteers for training climbs.

“The Fight For Air Climb is a big part of my life. If there is a point that I can’t climb, I will do what I can to raise money for the organization,” said Peterson. “I am proud to do whatever I can for the American Lung Association.”

The Fight For Air Climb is set for March 8, 2020. For the event, thousands of Illinois residents and people from across the country climb the stairs of one, two, three or all four Presidential Towers buildings (a total of 180 floors, 2,340 steps) to raise awareness and money to fight lung disease. More information and registration for the Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers is available at


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:

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.