It’s been12 years since Ryan Smarsh participated in his first Fight For Air Climb to benefit the American Lung Association in Ohio. That was in 2012 and he could have never imagined how meaningful these climbs would turn out for him.
After his friend Susan lost her battle with lung cancer in 2013, Smarsh was determined to keep her memory alive and decided to honor her through climbing.
“I wanted to do something in her memory, where her name was never forgotten. Ten years later, she is always remembered,” said Smarsh.
In the first year, he climbed as an individual. His second-year climbing, he joined a team. His third year climbing, he created his own team of 10 climbers but throughout the years the team grew. Last year, he was able to gather 18 climbers.
Over the years, Smarsh and his team have raised over $25.000 for the Lung Association. But for Smarsh, it’s not just about the money. It’s about honoring his friend and doing something positive to help others.
“I smile because I am able to do something positive to benefit the American Lung Association and continue to raise money for those who need our help,” he said.
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 Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.