On March 27, Jacksonville resident John Finn will climb 600 stairs of TIAA Bank Field for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. He began participating 13 years ago as a way to get active, but since the event has become much more personal. His father received a double lung transplant, his father-in-law was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and his aunt has lung cancer.
In 2008, Finn’s father-in-law, Jack Avery, invited him to participate in the very first Fight For Air Climb with him. Because he has bad knees, he was hesitant to participate. He ultimately decided to climb in the event, which was 42 flights of stairs in a Jacksonville tower.
“I went to an orthopedist, and he said that climbing stairs is actually good for my knees,” he said. “Of all the events I have done before, we look forward to this one every year. It is so fun and there is such comradery among climbers. It is a good community. I have been blessed that I have gotten to climb with friends, family and co-workers.”
He fell in love with the Fight For Air Climb and has participated every year of the event. Through the years, this event has gotten much more personal for him.
“Lung disease touches so many people’s lives,” he said. “My father-in-law was diagnosed with COPD in his 4th year doing the Fight For Air Climb. I also do it for my dad who had emphysema and had a double lung transplant, and my aunt who has lung cancer.”
The Jacksonville Fight For Air Climb typically takes place in the stairwells of the Bank of America Tower, but this year, it was reimagined as an outdoor climb challenge at TIAA Bank Field for the safety of participants, volunteers and staff. 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 organization’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.
“With all of the charity events that I have done in the past for different causes, this one impacts everyone. It is not just the people who have lung disease and lung cancer, it is helping with air quality and helping people with asthma. We all need to breathe. I think this affects more of us than people realize,” said Finn.
The Fight For Air Climb is on March 27 at TIAA Bank Field. Registration for the event is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. For more information, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Jacksonville.
Your safety is always our number one priority. We are continually monitoring local conditions that might affect your Climb. Check your local Climb website for the most up-to-date information.
About the American Lung Association
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.