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Monday, February 27, 2012

Climbing 23 flights of stairs for asthma?

We went up to our local American Lung Association's event, called the "Fight For Air Climb." It's where people climb 23 flights of stairs to raise money for the local American Lung Association's asthma programs. They asked my daughter, Kitty, to hand out medals again this year, so that was fun for her. Even if she is a little shy....

The most amazing part of the event was to watch the fire fighters climb the 23 flights of stairs-in full gear. Many people have a hard time climbing the stairs on their own, but try adding 60-70 pounds of fire fighting gear! By the time many of them reached the top of the stairs, they were exhausted. Several collapsed at the top of the stairs, and their buddies would remove their gear so they could go sit down. I could always tell when they were nearing the top, because their alarms would go off on their oxygen tanks (I think that's what the alarm was for.) As they reached the top, they would run out of oxygen. And I can tell you that they always got loud cheers from those of us already on the floor. What amazing men.

Hubby remarked that all the firefighters looked like ex-football players. They would have to be to carry 60 pounds of equipment. For those of us with asthma, some days can be a challenge to breathe. And that doesn't include strapping 60 extra pounds on while we get a little exercise.

I looked like a manly competition too, to see which firefighters could make it to the top the fastest. I think there were several different agencies from the city there. I'm not sure who ended up with bragging rights for the best time.

For my part, I manned the display table and told people about programs that are available for people with asthma. Open Airways is a great class that helps kid aged 8-11 manage their asthma. We show the kids how to use an inhaler, peak flow meter, explain about different types of medication, etc. Studies show that kids that complete this course (6 weeks- one 45 minute class one day a week ) have less asthma attacks, fewer visits to the emergency room and less missed school days.

If you are interested, contact your local American Lung Assocation, the class are free, and the kids get a t-shirt on the last day of class and a fun party.

If you missed the Fight For Air Climb, there's always next year. Until then, look forward to summer when our local American Lung Assocation sponsors a Fight For Air walk. Now that's more my speed-a stroll around a local park. If you ask me, that beats climbing 23 flights of stairs!

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