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Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 12:17 am

Climb 32 floors, 532 steps

Fight for Air supports the battle against lung cancer

PHOTO COURTESY https://www.facebook.com/FightForAirClimbSpringfieldIL/


The American Lung Association challenges you to join the Fight for Air Climb fundraiser on Feb. 21, 2015. In support of the fight against lung cancer, participants will take on 32 floors and 532 steps at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre Hotel, formerly the Springfield Hilton, in downtown Springfield.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2012, the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States was at 210,828 men and women. Unfortunately, lung cancer can claim anyone’s life, even if a person lives a healthy lifestyle.

Bill Pool, 40, from Jacksonville is a physical education teacher and athletic coach who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer back in October 2015. Pool is known to live a healthy and active lifestyle and has never smoked in his life. On Feb. 21, Pool’s family and friends will participate in the Fight for Air Climb in honor of his current battle with lung cancer.

An even younger man, Andrew Ehle, 28, from Jacksonville, is suffering from several forms of lung disease. Ehle has dealt with severe asthma all his life, coped with pneumonia for more than a year and a half and, in February 2015, one of his lungs collapsed. His continual battle with respiratory issues has kept him from joining the Fight for Air Climb for two years in a row. The money raised by this event helps people like Andrew Ehle and Bill Pool continue to share their journey.

Stories about families across central Illinois have continued to inspire participants who may not be directly affected by lung cancer to come out to join the annual climb.

Catrina Williams, 31, from Springfield will be climbing in honor of her mother, Sharon Williams, who only has 21 percent lung function. The event raises funds for life-saving research to help put an end to lung cancer and lung disease. This year’s goal is to reach $9 million nationwide, topping last year’s amount of more than $8 million raised across the country by 63 climb events.

To help residents prepare to reach the top of the hotel, local Springfield fitness clubs like Anytime Fitness on Wabash Avenue, FitClub South on Sixth Street and Powerworks Fitness in Chatham, have set up boot camp sessions free to registered participants. The boot camp sessions have been available since Dec. 13, 2015, and will continue through Feb.14. To find out exact times and locations check out the American Lung Association’s website at www.lung.org, and click on Fight for Air Climb under the section called upcoming events in your area.

Registration for participants and volunteers can be completed online or by calling 217-787-5864. Currently, registration is set at $25 and the minimum amount any participant can fundraise is $100. Registration on the day of the event will cost $155 total, including registration and fundraising.

Local sponsors who are teaming up to support the Springfield event include Capitol Radio Group, FitClub, Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc., Memorial Medical Center, Springfield Clinic and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Contact Brittany Hilderbrand at intern@illinoistimes.com.

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