Local Man Climbs Carew Tower to Honor His Parents Taken by Lung Disease

Local resident Greg Papajohn’s family has been devastated by lung disease and lung cancer. His father suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for 10 years and his mother died after a short battle with lung cancer. On February 9, he will climb the tallest tower in Cincinnati to honor them and to raise money to fight lung disease.

In 2005, Papajohn’s mother developed a problem with her hip. Her doctor suspected cancer, so he referred her to an oncologist. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away two weeks later at just 69 years old. At that time, Papajohn’s father already had COPD. After living with the disease for over 10 years, he passed away from the disease in 2010.

Not long after his father’s death, Papajohn learned about the Fight For Air Climb on TV and decided to sign up.

“For me, it was obviously very personal,” he said. “I also like doing different events and I think this event is so unique. You can do 5Ks anywhere. This is the one time a year that you can do something absolutely unique. And you can do it in under 15 minutes.”

Papajohn started a team with his colleagues, called DHL Climbers. On February 9, Papajohn and the DHL Climbers will participate in their 9th Fight For Air Climb at Carew Tower. This year, he has another reason to climb. His friend, Chasity Harney, was diagnosed with lung cancer at just 40 years old.

“This year, I will be climbing to honor her in addition to my parents and mother-in-law. No one should struggle to breathe. That is why I am climbing in the Fight For Air Climb,” he said. “I believe everyone on our team has a connection to lung disease.”

The American Lung Association in Ohio’s Fight For Air Climb invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to race up the stairs of Carew Tower, a total of 45 floors, 804 steps. The event raises awareness for lung disease, raises money for life-saving research, and funds critical local programing like educational programs to help local children manage their asthma and free programs to help locals quit smoking.

To learn more about the Fight For Air Climb at Carew Tower, happening on February 9, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Cincinnati.

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