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WI Firefighters Climb For Air – And To Help Others

Sue Swan of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin knows what it's like to race up the stairs of the tallest building in Wisconsin - for a good cause.
Sue Swan of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin knows what it's like to race up the stairs of the tallest building in Wisconsin - for a good cause.
March 11, 2013

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Imagine racing up 94 flights of stairs - and then imagine doing it while carrying 70 pounds of equipment. That's what hundreds of firefighters from all over Wisconsin will be doing on March 23 in the Anthem Firefighter Challenge at the tallest building in the state, the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

The event is part of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin (ALA-Wisconsin) Fight For Air Climb, which raises money to combat lung disease. Sue Swan, executive director of ALA-Wisconsin, said the firefighters really get into it.

"Oh, yes! We've had firefighters get to the top and do push-ups just to prove they can do more!" she exclaimed.

The Fight for Air Climb is open to anyone who wants to put together a team and raise money, not just firefighters. Swan herself has made the climb and said it's a real challenge.

"By about the 12th floor, you really have a keen understanding of what people who suffer from lung disease go through every day," she said.

People can learn more about the event and register at www.fightforairclimb.org, she said. The Fight For Air Climb is a key part of American Lung Association annual fundraising efforts, she added, and this year's event is expected to generate nearly $500,000.

The Fight For Air Climb has grown in popularity every year, she noted.

"It's a huge event. When we started five years ago we had 620 climbers," she said "and this year we are expecting around 2,600."

However, she said, the Climb is not just for firefighters.

"There are lots and lots of other climbers who are climbing because of somebody they know who has lung disease and can't climb," she explained, "or for somebody they've lost because of lung disease. For them, it's a real journey to the top."

The registration fee is $25 dollars and the team fundraising minimum is $100. Complete information and registration forms are available online at www.fightforairclimb.org.



Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI