Climbing toward a future free of lung disease

Climbing toward a future free of lung disease

Climbing toward a future free of lung disease

Hundreds of climbers of all fitness levels, families, and corporate teams across Minnesota climbed thousands of steps at Allianz Field in the annual Fight for Air Climb hosted by the American Lung Association. 

Organizers say more than 566,000 people in Minnesota suffer from lung disease. Funds raised from the event will support the Lung Association’s efforts to improve lung health and prevent lung disease through lifesaving research, education, and advocacy. 

On Saturday, members of the Lake Elmo Fire Department came in force with their 70-pound gear ready to tackle the stairs. 

“We’re going for like 6,700 steps. Cancer rates in the firefighting industry are skyrocketing. So, it’s a good way for us to raise money to help kind of figure out some support for that,” said Lake Elmo Fire Chief Dustin Kalis. 

The lower route of Allianz Field has 988 steps, and the upper route has 2,059 steps. Climbers were invited to make up to three rounds if they have the stamina. 

Patrick Mosher of Minnetonka has participated in the event for 13 years, this year he got a break from stairs, instead he made a lap in the concourse. Climbing stairs has not been as easy as it use to be because Mosher has stage four Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a type of lung condition that makes it difficult to breathe.

“My family has a lot of lung disease in it. It’s a genetic thing for us. None of my siblings are smokers. And so, if it is a genetic thing, I climb to raise money so that they can have research to find out why so that my grandchildren don’t have to live with any kind of lung problems,” said Mosher. 

Organizers say climbing stairs gives others a glimpse of what people like Mosher go through. 

“Well, stairs are great for actually giving you that shorter breath feeling so you know what it’s like for that valuable every last breath. Not to mention, it improves your balance and your coordination,” said Nahe Parson, with American Lung Association MN. 

“This is an opportunity for me to live more into my life purpose. It’s an opportunity for me to say yes to things. I have a mortality necessity that most people don’t have. And that’s a good thing,” Mosher said. 

If you are interested in donating to American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb, click here