8th Annual Fight For Air Climb New Jersey Returns to Red Bull Arena

Nearly 200 Participants Will Step Up for Lung Health

The American Lung Association in New Jersey will be hosting its annual Fight For Air Climb New Jersey this Saturday, April 30, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Red Bull Arena (home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer) in Harrison, NJ. Funds raised will support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases, including COVID-19, with a fundraising goal of $95,000.
“Our participants love the experience of climbing outdoors and we’re excited to be back in the arena this year,” said Lisa Burdzy, Development Manager, at the American Lung Association. “It’s a fun event for people of all athletic levels, and a wonderful way to spend the morning while raising funds for lifesaving research to help the nearly 1,117,000 people in New Jersey living with lung disease and diagnosed with lung cancer in 2022 alone.” 

 ‘”The Climb helps participants recognize how difficult breathing with lung disease can be as the Climbers themselves often struggle for breath as they work to complete the course – and this struggle to breathe is what many lung disease patients face every day. We hope to change that by working together to support healthy lungs,” said Burdzy.” Fight For Air Climb New Jersey participants will Climb the 780 steps of the arena as well as the walking/running sections of the challenging course.  View course map.

The event also draws firefighters and emergency responders as respiratory diseases remain a significant health issue for those faced with increased exposure to gases, chemicals and smoke in the line of duty. Firefighters are at a higher risk to develop chronic issues, including lingering coughs, hoarseness, asthma and allergies. And in more extreme cases, a multitude of cancers including lung or bronchial.

Newark Engine 11 Firefighter and Scotch Plains New Jersey resident Michael Petrone has participated in the event for the past seven years. “I Climb to help raise awareness of the risks my fellow firefighters face in the line of duty and to raise funds for all those impacted by lung disease,” said Petrone. “There is no elevator to a cure, we have to take the stairs to help defeat lung disease.” Petrone is team captain of the NFD Eye Souls, top team fundraisers for the Fight For Air Climb New Jersey 2022, and have raised over $5,000 since 2015. To learn more about Petrone’s story or to support his team, visit the NFD Eye Souls’ team page.

With nearly 37 million people in the U.S. living with lung disease, it is more important than ever to step up to raise awareness and funds for research. Lung Association Local Leadership Board Member, Climb Committee Chair and leading Pulmonologist Dr. Andrew Berman said, “Events like the Fight For Air Climb New Jersey are essential in raising awareness about lung disease, promoting prevention and supporting novel research ideas and therapies. The importance of these efforts are amplified for me by my first-hand knowledge of the limitations of existing treatments for many lung diseases and keeps me committed to doing what I can to make a difference. In the spirit of the Climb, help us take a step in the right direction and join us on April 30th.” Andrew Berman M.D., M.H.A., is also Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Divisions of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Rheumatology at Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School.

Climb Details: 
 Nearly 200 registrants are expected to participate in the 8th annual Fight For Air Climb New Jersey on Saturday, April 30, 2022, with registration at 8:30 and Climbers starting in waves at 9:00 a.m. Funds raised will support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases, including COVID-19, with a goal of $95,000. The Biergarten on site at the arena will be open for our participants, where friends and family members can enjoy food and drink. 

Whether you’re new to stair climbing or a veteran Climber, you can choose your adventure: climb for the top time, race for your personal best or take it at your own pace – whether in person or registering for the virtual “Climb Your Way” option, at a location of your choice. The Fight for Air Climb New Jersey has participant options for every type of Climber, from beginners to advanced. Onsite registration is $40 with a minimum fundraising fee of $100. Awards for top individual fundraisers and top team fundraising teams will be handed out during check-in.

Local sponsors are Hackensack Meridian Health and New Jersey Thoracic Society. For more information, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb/newjersey.

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