Climbers hit the stairs for Lung Cancer Awareness

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Burning legs and burning lungs are the name of the game in Oklahoma City today.

“We have people here from all over the state that are literally climbing stairs,” said Terri Bailey of the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association held its annual  Fight for Air Climb Saturday morning  at the 21-story Valliance Bank tower in NW Oklahoma City.

For the 9th straight year, hundreds of participants running or walking stairs to raise money and awareness for people with lung diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer.

Most climbing 38 flights, but some 115 floors, both up and down.

“We get a feel for how someone affected by lung cancer can feel on a daily basis by not having the air we need to function.” said Tulsa Firefighter Malachi Barnett.

Barnett  joining his fellow firefighters from OKC and Tuttle, even some in from Kansas.

“We go up there with our air packs.. about 70 pounds and try to push ourselves so we can try to kinda feel like those who are suffering from lung disease feel like everyday,” said Major Brock Gibbins for the OKC Fire Department.

Estimating they raised more than $20000 for the event, firefighters suffer from lung cancer more frequently than the average American. They know it’s worth the hurt to raise awareness.

“Which burns more the quads or the lungs? oh the lungs.. now the calves will hurt two day later the calves do hurt ..a lot,” said Battalion Chief Larry Hansen.

The climb was a family affair for some. Melanie Weaver one of 15 family member hitting the stairs for her mom, Linda, who suffers from a rare form of lung cancer.

“It was real awareness for me that there were so many people with lung issue in their family so it’s a great thing and it gets bigger each year,” said Linda Clouse.

“It helps you understand how people that have lung disease really do fight for air on a daily basis so when you are climbing that’s all you think about that this is one day for me this is every day for them,” said Melanie Weaver.


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