I have been participating in the Fight For Air Climb for six years—I was 8-years-old when I joined my dad’s team. Five years ago, with his encouragement, I took over as the team captain. Our team name is the Ascending Angels, and we fly up the stairs wearing the best shirts, in my opinion. We make it a fun event, and year after year, our team and donors return to support us.
This year, we are climbing 1,197 stairs at a 52-story skyscraper in San Francisco’s Financial District. I’ve climbed this building four times, and it is not as hard as it sounds, especially when you compare it to pain and suffering of lung disease. My mom had asthma growing up, and my dad’s friend died of lung cancer.
In the past, I’ve come in 3rd and 4th place for my age group. My family has been part of this event for 12 years, and we’ve raised $132,774. It’s a reflection of the generosity of our friends and family. Still, it’s a small amount when you compare it to the size of the problems the American Lung Association is trying to solve.
I like to use humor to encourage people to donate. It works because we’re usually one of the top fundraising teams. I’ve even been the top fundraiser several times! I like knowing that I can make a difference even though I’m only 14-years-old.
It’s important to help others who are facing serious health challenges. At the age of 8, I learned I could make a difference, and I continue to climb because everyone deserves to breathe healthy air and to live a life free of lung disease.