American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb Rochester Moves Outdoors and Online to Support Lung Health, COVID-19 Action Initiative on May 22, 2021

Highmark Stadium to host a combined Fight for Air Climb Western New York, sparking new competition between Buffalo and Rochester area firefighters

Today, the American Lung Association in Western New York announced that it will host its annual Fight For Air Climb Rochester, outside at Highmark Stadium, on May 22, 2021 from 9am-4pm. The event will be combined with the Fight for Air Climb Buffalo this year and operate as a hybrid with both outdoor and virtual options. As part of the event’s “Climb Safe Commitment” in-person participants will be required to spatial distance, complete a basic entryway health screen, use sanitation protocols and face masks on site. The Climb will support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases, lung cancer and COVID-19 with a fundraising goal of raising $120,000.

As part of the Fight for Air Climb Rochester 2021, 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 May 22nd.

“The Fight for Air Climb is a treasured community event in Rochester and we are excited to see it evolve and expand this year, by moving it both online and outside to Highmark Stadium – an exciting and inspiring venue for the Western New York region!” said Kaelyn Gates, development director for the American Lung Association in Western New York. “Our mission to improve lung health and air quality through education, research, and advocacy has never been more important than it is today and we are simply willing to do whatever it takes to advance that mission and improve people’s lives, while keeping our community safe and healthy during this challenging time.”

“We’re excited to climb the stairs at Highmark, and we are even more excited to faceoff against our Buffalo-area counterparts during the firefighter challenge this year,” said Chief Stephen MacAdam, Lieutenant and Senior Safety Officer for Brighton Fire Department, and committee Chair for the Rochester Fight for Air Climb.
 “The combined event is a great opportunity to expand our community and prove once and for all that Rochester is the best City in Western New York!”

Every year the event includes a firefighter challenge, where firefighters race up the stairs in full gear weighing 50lbs or more. It often inspires internal and inter-department competitions for speed and fundraising, in an effort to drive awareness about the lung health challenges may firefighters and first responders face due to long term exposure to smoke and air pollutants.  

Chief MacAdam continued, “We are always honored to participated in this event,and highlight the hardship that our fellow brothers and sister firefighters face when it comes to lung disease and lung cancer. This year, doing it at Highmark during a pandemic caused by a respiratory illness simply makes it meaningful on so many more levels.”  To support the Chief and his Brighton Fire Department team, visit their event page.

Money raised through the Fight for Air Climb Rochester 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.

There is a $35 registration fee for the Fight for Air Climb Rochester with early bird discounts available for those registering before April 9. This year, the Firefighter Challenge will be sponsored by the Buffalo Medical Group, with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield as the Official Health Sponsor. Gieco Buffalo, Immediate Care is sponsoring the Lung Hero Honor Program, with other local sponsors including Southtowns Radiology, Foit Albert, Hodgson Russ, WGRZ Channel 2, U Evolve Buffalo and H&H Entertainment. More information and registration are available at

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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