SKY HIGH FUNDRAISER: Climbers raise money for American Lung Association

This morning, people went sky high in downtown Des Moines for a good cause. About nine hundred athletes of all ages and abilities took part in the Fight for Air Climb. The event raises money for the American Lung Association.

“We saw as long as you can walk a mile, you can do this event,” says event organizer Julia McCarville.

Today’s stair climb started at the EMC Insurance building, went through the Hub Tower and ended at the downtown Marriott. That’s a total of 66 floors or about 1200 steps.

“My uncle and my grandpa both died from not being able to breathe,” says Caitlin Laffey.

Like many others, Laffey came to remember loved ones who battled lung disease.

“Our mother passed away in 2008 from COPD so we do it as a tribute to her,” says Mike Taylor.

The event is timed, but participants can go at their own pace. McCarville says some people want to race to the top.

“They want to be the first ones up the stairs, they want the medal. They want that recognition of being first place. But we also have a whole other competition of fundraising,” she says.

Whatever the reason, they all want to reach the finish line.

“It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done,” says Laffey.

As tired as they are, they can rest assured they just helped a good cause. The event raised about $160,000 for lung cancer research.


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