LOUISVILLE, KY | January 11, 2021
It was the day after Mother’s Day when the 30-year-old Louisville mother-of-two Elizabeth Moir got the call – she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, she is participating in the American Lung Association in Kentucky’s first-ever outdoor Fight For Air Climb in Louisville at Lynn Family Stadium to raise awareness that anyone can get lung cancer.
The event typically takes place in the stairwells of the PNC Tower but was reimagined as an outdoor climb challenge for the safety of participants, volunteers and staff.
Moir’s lung problems began when she was 30 weeks pregnant with her second child. Severe lung pain sent her to the emergency room struggling to breathe. Doctors diagnosed her with pleuritic lung pain.
Then in April 2019, Moir went home for a quick bike workout and later coughed up blood. The doctor thought it was an infection, so they prescribed antibiotics. After a week of relief, the cough returned. She began a myriad of tests to determine the cause. Moir got the call on May 13, 2019 that it was lung cancer.
“I was shocked. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t think it was cancer because I take pretty good care of myself,” said Moir.
The doctor scheduled a PET scan and an MRI to determine the spread of the cancer. The MRI revealed an unrelated medical emergency, a colloid cyst in her brain, which causes hydrocephalus. This needed to be removed immediately, so Moir went in for brain surgery.
The PET scan revealed more bad news – the cancer had spread to her liver, rib cage, spine and pelvis. Her health was quickly deteriorating, so the doctors needed to begin treatment soon after the brain surgery. Moir had her tumor tested for genetic markers, which revealed that the lung cancer is ALK positive and was eligible for a targeted treatment. She began chemotherapy pills to treat the cancer on June 7, 2019. Fortunately, the treatment worked quickly.
“Within 48 hours, I didn’t have a cough. Now, I feel relatively normal. The worst side effects are fatigue, extreme sun sensitivity and heat sensitivity,” she said.
Now, a almost two years after her diagnosis, Moir is participating in the outdoor Fight For Air Climb at Lynn Family Stadium to raise awareness for lung cancer.
“The main reason I want to raise is awareness is that I had no idea I could get lung cancer. I am a nonsmoker who has never been around secondhand smoke. When I went through the whole diagnosis process, everyone asked if I smoked. I feel like it is what we were taught. I had never heard that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer,” she said. “I like to think that if I had known, I would have caught it earlier.”
Registration is open for the eighth year of the Fight For Air Climb in Louisville through January 25th. The event is open to all individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to tackle the stadium stairs, totaling 2,000 steps. For those looking for an extreme experience, the event offers a “Triple Climb,” where participants climb three times around the Lynn Family Stadium for a total of 5,400 steps (the equivalent of a 5k).
Money raised at the Fight For Air Climb will fund the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative. The COVID-19 Action Initiative is a $25 million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative works with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.
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, 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: Lung.org.
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