After receiving lifesaving lungs from her donor Dallas who passed away, Kate Erd became dedicated to honoring his memory and raising funds to help end lung disease. This year, she will participate with family and friends at the American Lung Association in Wisconsin’s Fight For Air Climb, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, at American Family Field on April 9, 2022.
“I participate in the Climb to honor my donor, Dallas,” said Erd. “I also take part in the event because we need to find better treatments and bring awareness to lung disease and early treatment.”
In June 2015, Erd was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called nontuberculous mycobacterial. She had symptoms for over five years, but it was never diagnosed until she got very sick and cavities had already formed in her lungs. After receiving antibiotic treatment for two years, Erd’s lung health didn’t improve. In 2018, she was diagnosed with a second rare lung disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is a type of interstitial lung disease possibly caused by mold. Doctors recommended Erd get a double-lung transplant and on September 16, 2019, three days after Dallas passed away, Erd received his lungs.
“The Lung Association was the first place I went to when I got the life-changing news I had a rare lung disease,” said Erd. “Their advocates on the phone and their website helped me to find information and resources to learn more about the disease and current treatments.”
In 2020, Erd volunteered in her first Climb but she couldn't race up the stairs with Team Dallas because the doctors thought it was too risky. Luckily, she was able to climb in 2021. In total, Team Dallas has raised about $3,800. Erd is hoping to raise $3,000 this year.
This event brings together hundreds of climbers from across Wisconsin who raise awareness and funding to help end lung disease through lifesaving research, local programs and advocacy. For those who can’t attend the event, the Lung Association is also offering a “Climb Your Way” option.
The Lung Association is committed to the health and safety of its participants and volunteers. The organization will continue to closely monitor public health conditions and CDC guidelines for COVID-19. Everyone is encouraged to check the Climb website for the most updated information leading up to the event.
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, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.