By Justin Adams

(CBS4) – Hundreds of people spent Saturday morning climbing the stairs at Coors Field. It was not because the Colorado Rockies were playing, rather it was to raise money to end lung disease.

Denver’s Fight for Air Climb is the biggest fundraiser of the year from the American Lung Association in Colorado. Firefighters, first responders and frontline workers climb almost 2,000 steps at Coors Field to help raise money to end lung cancer and battle COVID-19.

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“This is a really important event for everybody that has a pair of lung and especially since COVID-19 really brought that out into the forefront this year being a lung disease,” said Ellen Penrod, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Colorado.

Usually, the annual event is held in the stairwells of Republic Plaza, but because of COVID, this was the first time the event was outdoors. The goal is to raise $175,000 but for some it means much more than just a race in the ballpark.

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“My dad suffered from lung disease and unfortunately, we lost him in November to COVID-19. I also lost one of my favorite aunts as well, in this March to COVID-19,” said Damian Solarzano. “Obviously, we’re running for a good cause but we’re also running in memory and honor of lives lost.”

Solarzano ran with Respiratory Therapists, a group of people who are in the hospital helping those on ventilators. Now they hope with every step, they can breathe more life into cancer research.

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“It’s a good cause. Everybody breathes and if you can’t breathe nothing else matters,” Solarzano said.

Justin Adams