Step Up to the Challenge

Why We Climb

We climb for our friends and loved ones who suffer from lung cancer and all lung diseases.

Let's make sure everyone can benefit from healthy lungs.

GettelfingerMy story began in 2016…I wanted to join the Louisville Fight For Air Climb that year to support my dad & friends’ kids who suffer from severe asthma. A below-the-knee amputation due to a MRSA infection interrupted my plans.

One year later I still wanted to participate and registered for the 2017 Climb as a member of Debbie Burdorf’s Semonin Steppers Team. Practices were a source of inspiration…participants were climbing with limited lung capacity - there was even a double lung transplant climber! Everyone encouraged me and that helped build my self-esteem.

Climb Day arrived and I decided if I made it halfway up the 38 flights that would be OK. At floor 19, the halfway mark, a fellow participant encouraged me to take one more step. Floor 23, the last chance for an exit elevator, became my next goal. Taking it one step at a time, I made it to Floor 30! I could hear the cheering from Floor 38 and knew I could make it. Rounding the corner, the sight and sounds of my team cheering for me to finish was overwhelming! I not only exceeded my climb goal but also met my fundraising goal.

If you have doubts about joining the climb, don't let them dissuade you! Take it one step at a time.

Why I climb? Not only to raise funds for a great cause, but also to show myself and others that the only limitations in life are the ones we place on ourselves.

Gettelfinger Meet Sally Gettelfinger and Cathy Zion, two friends with a great deal in common. These high-energy, positive women have supportive spouses and family, love to travel, spend time with friends, and are engaged in their community.

Sally and Cathy met about three years ago, when they found they had another thing in common; their fight to defeat lung cancer. If there is one silver lining in the cloud of lung cancer, Cathy and Sally have found it. It has brought them together in a friendship that will last a lifetime. Refusing to let this insidious disease get the best of them, these brave women are using their experience to educate, encourage, and raise awareness to help others.

These superheroes have taken lung cancer to task! Sally and Cathy participated in the Fight For Air Climb Louisville six months after lung cancer surgery, and serve as Climb team captains for top fundraising teams. Sally and Cathy have been LUNG FORCE Heroes for the LUNG FORCE Walk, honorees at the October Big Screen Bash and are spokeswomen for numerous American Lung Association events. Their efforts are saving lives!

Think you can’t make a difference? Think again! Join the Fight For Air Climb Louisville to fund research and find cures.


Lauren Ed My name is Lauren Fancher, and I am fifteen years old. I have been climbing for three years. Climbing for the American Lung Association is definitely a great passion of mine. I really enjoy fundraising for those who have lung diseases and other breathing problems. Every step I take while climbing reminds me of how fortunate I am to have healthy lungs. I climb for everyone who has lung problems in hopes that one day there will be a cure for the numerous incurable lung diseases. In particular, I climb for my sister and friends of the family who have severe asthma. The memories of my sister constantly taking breathing treatments as a baby push me to climb that one last flight. Knowing that some people experience the same difficulty breathing everyday as I feel after climbing 38 flights, inspires me to set higher fundraising goals.

By fundraising, I hope to ensure that future generations will never have to live with the pain and heartache of lung disorders.

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