Three-Time Cancer Survivor Has Personal Goal of Raising $100,000 for Lung Cancer Research

Local Retired Navy Veteran, John Casterline will participate in the OUC Orlando Half Marathon this weekend to raise funds for lung cancer research
Three-time cancer survivor and retired Navy Veteran, John Casterline plans to wind down his athletic career, by participating this weekend in the OUC Orlando Half Marathon. “I have believed in myself every time I’ve started a race that I will finish and reach my goal and this weekend will be no exception,” shares Casterline.

Casterline is no newcomer to fitness challenges, having participated in more than 25 throughout his adult life.  Of most notoriety is his hiking more than 2,208 miles of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Another of his accomplishments has been participating in 11 Fight For Air Climbs locally, benefitting the American Lung Association. Since 2010, Casterline has helped raise more than $80,000 to support the mission of the Lung Association and defeat lung cancer. His goal before his “final” retirement is to raise $100,000.

Casterline was first diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in August of 2006, prompting his interest in raising awareness and funds for lung cancer research. He approached the American Lung Association in 2009 with the plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and use it as a fundraiser. In November 2010, six months before he was set to start his hike, Casterline was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery for his prostate cancer, and the following month in December 2010 was diagnosed with throat cancer. Even with these obstacles, Casterline maintained a positive attitude and that he would overcome this as well. After several rounds of radiation, he was cleared to begin his hike in April 2010. His lung cancer returned in November of 2019 which he also conquered.

Participants and onlookers on the course, may take note of Casterline as he approaches his 80th birthday next week and continues to be in great condition for an athletic fete of this magnitude. “Every time I participate in an event like this, my goal is to help raise awareness, funding and hope for all those impacted by lung cancer. I want people to see that I’m strong, maybe not as strong as I once was, but that I’m happy, healthy and living my life to the fullest. Of course, not every day is perfect, but each day I’m thankful – thankful for my loving family and friends, my doctors and support groups, and that I can still get out there and show the world that I can finish what I started,” remarks Casterline.

Once Casterline finishes this hurdle, he will look to help fundraise for the upcoming Fight for Air Climb, that will benefit the American Lung Association. This iconic event will be held on February 18, 2023 and will return to the City National Bank Building. Participants will climb 25 flights of stairs, 512 steps to the top of the building. 

“This is one of those events that is just hard to describe, until you participate. It literally takes your breath away – a feeling that everyone who has lung diseases experiences. I would appreciate your support this weekend and hope you’ll come out and attend the Fight for Air Climb event in February too. I promise it will be a memorable morning you will not want to miss,” shares Casterline.  

The Fight for Air Climb event is designed for every type of climber, from beginners to competitive climbers and supports the work of the Lung Association to defeat lung cancer, improve the air we breathe, reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families, and eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.

For more information and to register for the Fight for Air Climb, visit To make a donation or to join Casterline’s team, the Backpackers, please visit Fight For Air Climb - Orlando: BackPackers - American Lung Association 
For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 15, 2024