Southeast Iowa Woman to Honor Late Husband Who Died After Lung Transplant by Stair Climbing Four Buildings

“He never complained, he always put his best foot forward and lived every single day to the fullest,” says Jessica Anderson
One year after marrying the love of her life, Jessica Anderson lost him due to complications from a double lung transplant in January of 2015.

Anderson’s husband Jesse had cystic fibrosis (CF) an inherited disease that causes thickened mucus to form in the lungs, blocks airways, causes lung damage and makes it hard to breathe.

Hundreds of people will gather to climb four downtown Des Moines buildings on March 26 for the American Lung Association in Iowa’s Fight For Air Climb to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis and several other respiratory illnesses.

“When I’m climbing, Jesse is on my mind almost the entire time. I think of how much he struggled to breathe and how grateful I am to have had the time I had with him,” said Anderson. “How on any given day, even on his worst, he never complained. He always put his best foot forward and lived every single day to the fullest.”
Anderson has participated in the Lung Association’s climb every year since 2009. She met Jesse in 2008 and while out on a date, the couple ran into a group of people who were talking about the climb. She signed up and has been climbing ever since.

“I love the atmosphere. Everyone is always so uplifting and joyful and always cheering each other on or even strangers on,” said Anderson.

She has a team that she climbs with every year but says anyone is welcome to climb with her on the big day. Anderson also has a few regular donors but is open to more.

“I’m just thankful I was born with healthy lungs and the desire to utilize them. I love being able to climb in Jesse’s honor and will continue to climb as long as I am able!”

The Fight For Air Climb begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday March 26 and Anderson and Team Anderson Boys will be among the hundreds of participants ready to make the emotional climb.

Jessica Anderson is available for interviews about the Fight For Air Climb, and you can contact Janye Killelea at [email protected] or (312) 940-7624 for requests.

For more information on the climb, and to register, visit
You can find b-roll of previous indoor climbs HERE.
For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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