Fight for Air Climb

Hi, everyone!

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.

2014-03-14_Fight For Air Climb Group

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 for...

  • 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!