As a stage IV lung cancer patient, Taura Auddino climbed 40 stories with steadfast determination to raise awareness that anyone can get lung cancer. That was in 2020. She passed away one year later, in 2021. Now, this June, her family will honor her and continue her mission to raise awareness and funding for a cure in the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb at Lower.com Field.
“When we put together a team to participate in the Columbus Fight for Air Climb in 2020, my mom wanted people to realize that this disease is common, and it does not discriminate. She was a hero to us all when she climbed all 40 flights of the building that year,” said Carley Auddino-Polko, Taura’s daughter.
“As we plan to climb this June, we will climb in honor of my mother. We miss her greatly. We strive to continue to bring awareness to this disease, as it was something she was passionate about. The American Lung Association gives us the chance to honor and celebrate my mother’s legacy through the Fight For Air Climb and it’s a tradition that we look forward to participating in for many years to come,” said Auddino-Polko.
The family is hosting two fundraisers as part of their participation in the Climb.
• May 11, 6PM-8PM: Raffle event at Lucky's Grille & Sports Pub (5387 Roberts Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026).
• June 5, 11AM-7PM: Painting items at Brush Crazy (1299 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220). A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Climb team.
It took doctors almost a year to diagnose Taura with lung cancer. It was very difficult because the cancer looked similar to pneumonia on scans. The diagnosis also come as a surprise to her and the family.
“The diagnosis in 2018 came as a total shock to my mother and our entire family. How could a healthy, 46-year-old mother of five have stage IV lung cancer? She never smoked, was constantly active, and lived a healthy lifestyle. It seemed impossible to all of us. We would quickly learn how unfortunately common lung cancer is, even in non-smokers,” said Auddino-Polko.
Taura’s family of climbers will join hundreds of others with similar stories to create a special bond as they take 1,910 steps – equivalent to 48 floors – in Lower.com Field on Saturday, June 11. The Lung Association is also offering a “Climb Your Way” option for those who can’t attend the event.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.