American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb Philadelphia Heads Outdoors to Subaru Park - to Support Lung Health, COVID-19 Action Initiative on June 12, 2021

Local Lung Health Champions Named Event Co-Chairs

Today, the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania announced that it will host the annual Fight for Air Climb Philadelphia event outdoors for the first time at the Subaru Park in Chester, PA on June 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dr. Ross Summer of Jefferson Health and John Narkin, fire department battalion chief and a firefighter for the past 25 years, are also returning as event co-chairs.

The Fight For Air Climb will operate as a hybrid event with both outdoor and virtual options to support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases and COVID-19, with a fundraising goal of $250,000. In its 15th year, the Fight For Air Climb Philadelphia typically takes place in the stairwells of Three Logan Square in the Philadelphia Business District but was reimagined as an outdoor climb challenge for the safety of participants, volunteers and staff. 

Co-Chairs Narkin and Dr. Summers s will help take the Climb onward and upward to a new level with their commitment to lung health and the Greater Philadelphia community. “We are honored to have such dedicated lung health advocates serve as co-chairs for the event as we head outdoors for the Fight For Air Climb Philadelphia,” said American Lung Association Executive Director Caroline Hutchinson. “The Fight for Air Climb is a treasured community event in Philadelphia and it’s exciting to see it evolve and expand this year, as we continue our mission to improve lung health and air quality through education, research, and advocacy.”

John Narkin, a lifelong Philadelphia resident, has responded to hundreds of fires, medical emergencies and environmental hazards.  In 2017 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He is not only a lung cancer patient but a LUNG FORCE Hero and long-time American Lung Association volunteer. Brother and sister firefighters from Philadelphia and surrounding areas participated in previous Climb in his honor. Narkin will continue to help make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by lung disease as the 2021 Fight For Air Climb Philadelphia Co-Chair. 

Dr. Summer is a Professor of Medicine at the Jane and Leonard Korman Respiratory Institute at Thomas Jefferson University. He also oversees an NIH-funded basic science laboratory that aims to discover new biological mechanisms and therapies for various lung diseases. He has many years of first-hand knowledge of the limitations of existing treatments for many lung diseases and is committed to making a difference in lung health.

About the Climb:
In addition to the Subaru Park onsite event, the Lung Association has introduced the Climb21 Challenge, empowering participants to “Climb Your Way” for the 21 days leading up to the in-person event. This challenge utilizes the new Fight for Air Climb app (available for Apple and Android devices) and invites climbers to virtually ascend famous landmarks across the globe, like the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon and Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) leading up to our in-person event on June 12.

Registration is open for the event, which invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporations and first responders to tackle Subaru Park, with 1088 stairs up and down stadium stairs. Starting at 8:00 a.m. Climb times for Climbers will be scheduled in advance. Free parking will be available on event day.
The safety of participants, staff and volunteers is always our number one priority, so we are continually monitoring local conditions that might affect the Climb. Our Climb Safe Commitment includes special distancing, health screenings, sanitation protocols and face masks. Everyone is encouraged to check our Climb website for the most up to date information leading to the event.

Money raised through the Fight for Air Climb Philadelphia will support the nearly 37 million Americans, and 1,773,409 Pennsylvanians living with chronic lung disease. Funds will also 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.
Lung health has never been more important than it is today—and we are committed to advancing that mission and improving people’s lives, while keeping our community safe and healthy during this challenging time,” said Hutchinson.

There is a $25 registration fee and minimum fundraising requirement of $100 per person for the Fight for Air Climb Philadelphia. This year, the Fight For Air Climb Philadelphia is sponsored by Brandywine Realty Trust, Jane and Leonard Korman Respiratory Institute, Jefferson Health and National Jewish Health, Independence Blue Cross, Holman Enterprises, Veracyte and Genentech. More information and registration are available at

For media interested in speaking with an expert about the event, a lung health expert or lung champion, contact Val Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123.   

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

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