ORLANDO, Fla. – For fifteen years some very determined climbers have fought their way up hundreds of stairs all to raise money to beat lung disease and during the pandemic, their mission has only gotten stronger.
One of those dedicated people is 74-year-old Sally Wolfe, who was climbing for friends battling illness this year.
“Starting out, I’m thinking about them, I’m saying ‘Anne I’m doing this for you, Judy I’m thinking about you,’” Wolfe said.
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This year’s Fight For Air Climb raised over $85,000 for the American Lung Association.
It’s Wolfe’s ninth year in the Fight For Air Climb and she came in first place for her age group.
“Since I was the only runner, I came in first, as a friend reminded me, I also came in last,” Wolfe laughed as she talked about her race.
Wolfe’s cheerful spirit deserved to be rewarded, but she asked people to zero in on another group of climbers.
“Come see the first responders — law enforcement and the firefighters — when they go through these events, they are phenomenal, the firefighters with all of their gear on,” Wolfe said.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina, alongside first responders from several agencies in Central Florida, made the climb to support the American Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease. Alicia Schwan, St. Cloud Fire Department’s Assistant Chief of EMS, carried about fifty pounds of gear on her back every year.
“Our job could demand all sorts of hard requests from us so for us to be physically fit at any time and to remain ready to go, is a part of why this challenge is important,” Schwan said.
Every step of the 1,000-stair climb pushed to fund a $25-million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics.
“It’s challenging, it’s very challenging but making it to the end is the best,” Schwan said.