This past weekend was hectic, fun-filled and fulfilling all at
the same time! Many naturopathic and chiropractic interns from NUHS
served as volunteers both Saturday and Sunday at the American Lung
Association's Fight for Air Climb in downtown Chicago.
The Fight for Air Climb is set up so that participants can climb
the stairs of prominent local buildings throughout the country,
getting great exercise, reaching a fitness milestone or competing,
all while raising money to prevent lung disease. Participants
climbed one, two, three or all four of the Presidential Towers, a
residential high-rise complex in Chicago. Each building has 45
floors (585 steps) for a grand total of 180 floors and 2,340 steps
that could be scaled by participants.
In the words of the organization itself, the climbers climb
- Those who suffer from lung cancer
- Those who struggle to breathe because of air pollution
- Those who suffer from asthma
- Those who cannot breathe on their own
Saturday's activities involved setting up the event by staging
all the water, bananas and energy snacks for the participants
throughout the four towers. Then we had to move the tables, signage
and decorations to the appropriate common areas where the
participants would be traversing between buildings during the
climb. Finally, the most poignant activity was placing the 'In
Memoriam' signs throughout the stairwells of all four buildings.
Participants could name a family member, friend or loved one for
whom they were climbing and have the opportunity to let that person
know that they were missed and still loved.
Sunday included working at the watering station on Floor 19 of
Tower 2 (of four towers). We saw firefighters climbing with full
gear (including air tank), friends leading blind loved ones, full
families, corporate teams, a team of tooth fairies (none of which
were shorter than 6'2") and a gaggle of Leprechauns who must have
been training for the St. Patrick's Day rush! Sunday was a true
pleasure to cheer on the participants who, through their physical
and fund raising efforts, would be able to help so many!
So, while this weekend started out as the last great opportunity
to finish the required community outreach hours (being entirely
honest), the emotional and spiritual return on taking the time to
be with the dedicated climbers, volunteers and building staff at
the towers downtown was an experience I won't soon forget!