DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of people joined together Sunday to fight for something we often take for granted — breathing.

One by one people climbed each step all the way to the top of the Republic Plaza for a good cause.

“Lung cancer is actually the number one cancer killer and it’s actually one of the least funded cancer researches,” Liz Toohey with the American Lung Association said.

The Fight For Air Climb supports the American Lung Association. It benefits people living with asthma, lung cancer or even second-hand smoke.

It’s a long way up. The Republic Plaza building is 56 stories, which equals about 1,098 steps. Climbers have to be able to breathe well if they want to make it to the top.

“It’s rough but it’s very rewarding, and so I’m always glad when I’m done,” climber Jenny Karlan said.

Karlan climbed for her father who was diagnosed with a potentially fatal lung disease over 3 years ago. They’ve supported the American Lung Association ever since.

“It was hard to have to watch my dad go through that, and to see him now and how well he’s doing is such an experience and I’m so thankful to be able to have my dad be so healthy now,” she said.

“It just warms your heart to see them go out and give so much of themselves and their energy to support such a worthy cause,” Chuck Karlan said.

Each climber has their own stories about why they took part. They’re all united fighting for the same goal — the right to breathe.

The American Lung Association set a goal of $500,000. So far they’ve raised just over half that but expect dollars to come in for several weeks. The money goes for research and programs in Colorado.

LINK: American Lung Association


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