2021 will mark 15 years since my father, Vito Salvatore Mannino, succumbed to lung cancer. I have learned to appreciate life's fragility in the intervening years and take my own mortality gravely serious. It was in this spirit of accountability that I was first attracted to Fight For Air Climb in Tampa, initially seeing it as a personal challenge, then coming to recognize the broader opportunity and deeper connection to my family's history.
2020 threw us all a curveball, to say the least, and sadly the event was canceled due to COVID-19, but if nothing else, the need for continued lung disease research and advocacy for this cause has become even more evident. Despite this setback, I am motivated now more than ever to climb any challenge in honor of my Father and his lost struggle with lung cancer. If a son must continue the battles that their fathers began, I shall wage war against lung disease by any means necessary. It's both my honor and my legacy.