On March 28, the Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team joined forces with the American Lung Association (ALA) at the annual American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb at One Oxford Centre in downtown Pittsburgh. The team participated in the association’s annual event to help bring awareness to lung disease.
Each year, the ALA hosts the event in more than 65 cities with participants climbing stairs in stadiums, skyscrapers and arenas. In 2014, Fight for Air Climbs raised more than $7 million to help provide lifesaving education, research and advocacy to beat lung disease and find a cure. Eight Tartans participated in the climb while seven others volunteered as event staff on March 28 and raised $1,200 with more events and fundraising efforts to take place through June.
“We chose to climb this year because it’s something I’ve done in the past,” said junior Taylor Bell whose grandmother passed away from COPD in 2012. “I joined a team with my dad and his coworkers before and this year wanted to include my other family so I invited the volleyball team and the results were amazing.”
All eight climbers reached Elite Climber status as they finished the 45 flights of stairs in less than 12 minutes. Freshman Shalani Stockton received a medal for her time in her age group while she and sophomore Emily Newton climbed the 897 stairs in less than nine minutes.
“Public opinion of lung disease is often attached to smoking,” said Bell. “I love working with the American Lung Association because they help break down stereotypes and educate the public about lung disease. From children with asthma to lung cancer patients, everyone deserves to breathe.”
“I’m excited to invite more of the athletic community to advocate for this tremendous cause in the coming year,” Bell continued.