I am excited to announce that I will be one of ten climbers to participate in the first ever international version of the American Lung Association's Climb for Clean Air program to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the summer of 2023.
Throughout my entire life I have been impacted by lung disease in my family. During my life I have had two living grandparents, both of whom succumbed to lung disease related health problems related to smoking. My Grandmother who lived with me most of my childhood had COPD and emphysema and spent the last 15 years of her life on oxygen. My grandfather dealt with the same issues, was on oxygen, and eventually succumed to complications of lung cancer. My father is currently living with health issues related to smoking, I lost my aunt Linda, with whom I was very close, to smoking-related cancer. Despite that, I also was a pack-a-day smoker for several years.
Training for mountain climbing and the outdoors give me a daily reason to not smoke that make the difficult process of quitting (and staying quit) more attainable. However, lung health is not just something that individuals can maintain themselves through healthy choices like not smoking. Things like fossil fuel emissions contribute to air pollution which is estimated to be responsible for roughly 20% of global deaths. This is because lack of clean air provokes numerous compounding health problems. This lack of clean air is disproportionately suffered by individuals lower in socio-economic status in the United States and in every country. Air quality doesn't respect borders. Dealing with air pollution requires more than just individual healthy choices and advocacy and organizing from groups like the American Lung Association is one critical part of fighting for clean air and environmental justice.
I'm doing the Climb for Clean Air to challenge myself and to support people with lung disease who have to fight for every breath.
I'm climbing for a healthier future, for vital COVID-19 research and for clean air.
Through groundbreaking research, advocacy and critical education, the money we raise will provide lifesaving treatments and dramatically improve the quality of life for more than 36 million Americans diagnosed with lung disease.
Donate to the Climb for Clean Air and be part of making a difference in the lives of lung disease patients and their caregivers. Every donation takes us one step closer to a world free of lung disease. The need is urgent, so please join me today and help us save more lives.
Every day, every minute and every second counts join me or donate today.