Local Firefighter Looks to Inspire Others One Step at a Time

Stephanie Nixon encourages community to support lung health and register for the Fight for Air Climb
In just a few weeks, hundreds of community members will gather to climb 25 flights, or 512 steps to the top of the iconic City National Bank Building for the Orlando Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, February 18th

Stephanie Nixon, firefighter with the Orange County Fire Rescue Department will participate in this unique event for the second time and is looking to inspire community members to register. “If I can do it, anyone can!” shares Stephanie Nixon.

Nixon shares that her very first challenge as part of the candidate physical abilities test to become a firefighter, was to climb a certain number of stairs, within a specific time while wearing 75 lbs. of gear. “That very first time I tried, and I failed,” shares Nixon. “After that, with motivational support from one of my mentors Jason Wheat, a few weeks of rigorous training and sheer will power, I did it!”

Nixon is now determined once again to face another challenge head on as she prepares to participate in the Orlando Fight For Air Climb and raise more money than any local firefighter has raised before. Training for Nixon currently includes 100 flights of stairs a day and she encourages others to join her through a daily challenge on social media.

While Nixon understands the importance of staying fit, wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and the potential health risks in her profession, she is aware that every community member deserves to have healthy lungs. “Every day I see people with respiratory issues,” shares Nixon.  “We see firsthand how important it is to stay active, lead a healthy life and support those that may not be able to help themselves,” shares Nixon.

“While I hope to inspire others to meet this challenge, I am always humbly reminded by the true heroes of our community who may have just experienced a trauma and yet try to maintain their daily obligations without proper rest and personal care,” reflects Nixon. “In these situations, we see so many community members with respiratory issues, so we try to generate awareness about the importance of caring for yourself and being mindful of lung health. While we can’t step in someone else’s shoes, we work hard to offer support, respect, and preserve one’s dignity in hopes to ease their burden.”

“The American Lung Association has continued admiration for all our local firefighters and emergency responders, and we are thankful for their continued support of the Fight For Air Climb, said John Rendle, Chair of this year’s Climb. “The inclusion of firefighters and first responders like Stephanie from across Central Florida, is what makes this event so unique. And this year to add to the excitement, we will feature the Austin Duran Firefighter Challenge, honoring our first responders impacted by lung disease.”

“I hope you will join me in this challenge and take that first step in improving your lung health while supporting the Lung Association on February 18th,” shares Nixon.

Funds raised from the Fight For Air Climb, support the mission of the American Lung Association and their efforts to defeat lung cancer, champion clean air, improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families, and to create a tobacco-free future.   

Registration for the Fight For Air Climb is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. To learn more and to register for the Orlando Fight For Air Climb on February 18 at the City National Bank Building visit FightForAirClimb.org/Orlando

Community members who are registered to participate in the Fight for Air Climb Orlando and who have met or exceeded their $100 fundraising minimum are welcome to join the next practice climb scheduled for Tuesday, February 7th from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Fit Pit, 2972 Forsyth Rd. Winter Park, FL 32792. RSVP to Amy Brown at [email protected].

Stay connected to the American Lung Association by following us on Instagram @americanlungcfl or Facebook @alafcentral.

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