Climbing more than 1,000 stairs to support those with lung disease

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The American Lung Association held it's 6th annual Fight for Air Climb in downtown Milwaukee Saturday morning, March 22nd.

The event challenges participants to raise money and awareness for those with lung disease and breathing problems. The climb includes traveling up several stairs -- 1,034 to be exact -- all 47 floors of the U.S. Bank building.

"When you hit 40 flights and you got seven more to go, and you're gasping for breath, it's so hard," said climber Maureen Dargle.

This is Dargle's fourth time participating in the challenge. Many others, however, are taking it on for the very first time.

"I love it! The excitement is here. People are here to represent their family members, their friends. It's a great environment. I'm very happy to be here," said first-timer LaVonda Winfrey.

Of the 62 Fight for Air events held nationally, Milwaukee ranks number one in terms of number of participants and dollars raised.

"We use the money to fund research for the cure of lung cancer, we fund and lobby for clean air, and we fund programs to abate tobacco use, especially among teenagers and young Americans," said American Lung Association board member Mike Cornell.

If you would like to make a donation toward the event's goal of $625,000, CLICK HERE.