ST. LOUIS , MO | May 23, 2022
Sweet Cindy’s Soldiers team will march up thousands of steps at Busch Stadium on June 4th in the American Lung Association in Missouri’s Fight For Air Climb. Brittany Graham, the team’s leader, is climbing in honor of her mom, Cindy, who passed away from lung disease.
“My mom is the reason I climb. She should still be here, but she’s not,” Graham said. “Watching someone you love struggle to breathe is a horrific experience, and to be around people that know what that's like, or at the very least, care about the cause, provides a sense of camaraderie and comfort.”
Cindy was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs, in 2015. Shortly afterwards, her lungs collapsed and she went into the hospital four times during a six-week period. She was then placed on hospice. Cindy bravely battled her disease for 16 months and passed away on December 8, 2017.
In March 2018, Graham was thinking about how she wanted to celebrate her first birthday without her mom. That’s when she participated in her first Climb event and found a way to include her mom in the celebration. Ever since then, Graham has climbed to support the Lung Association’s research for lung disease prevention with her mom’s good friend, Paula.
Sweet Cindy’s Soldiers team have raised upwards of $500 to $1,000 for each Climb event they have participated in. But this year, the team has found another special way to honor the memory of Cindy: purchasing a stadium sign to appear on the jumbotron of Busch Stadium with her picture. They are motivated to climb for improvements in treatment and healthcare—and ultimately advance towards a world without lung disease.
“Breathing is something that is taken completely for granted until you can't do it anymore,” Graham said. “No one should have to experience the devastation that lung disease so often leaves in its path.”
Funds raised at the St. Louis Climb will support the Lung Association’s lifesaving research, advocacy and local programs for the 982,000 Missourians living with lung disease. For more information about the Climb, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/St.Louis.
The Lung Association strongly recommends that all participants be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Participants, volunteers, and staff are encouraged to wear a mask when in high traffic areas at the event such as registration and the start line. The Lung Association will continue to closely monitor public health conditions and CDC guidelines leading up until the event.
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.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Want updates on the latest lung health news, including COVID-19, research, inspiring stories and health information?
Join the 700,000+ people getting our email updates!
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.