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Participant at Fight for Air Climb hopes to honor her lung donor

Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 21:53:32-04

MILWAUKEE — The Fight for Air Climb is just days away!

The American Lung Association is hosting its 14th annual Fight For Air Climb – Milwaukee sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield at American Family Field on Saturday.

People from all over the Milwaukee area will go to American Family field to climb up and down the stadium.

Funds raised at the event go to support the life-saving research, education and advocacy efforts of the Lung Association. Research like that helped Kate Erd to receive a life changing gift – a new pair of lungs.

“Before that, I was on oxygen 24/7,” Erd says. “A couple of years ago, I couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air and certainly without oxygen, I couldn’t do that.”

Now, Erd climbs stairs all the time in preparation for an even bigger climb at American Family Field.

“They gave me a lot of information and hope,” says Erd of the American Lung Association. “I’m not alone, I’m not the only one who this, even though it’s a rare disease.”

The Fight for Air Climb raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for lung disease research – Erd knows she wouldn’t be here without it.

“It’s a very humbling, humbling experience,” she says. “Somebody had to leave this earth so I could stay.”

That person was Dallas.

Erd says he was almost 23 years old when he died in a car accident. She’s trying to make the most of his sacrifice.

“We decided that the reason we were really climbing was to pay honor to my transplant family and to Dallas,” Erd says. “So we named our team ‘Team Dallas.’”

Erd says even though she never got to meet Dallas, climbing is a way to keep him close.

“He’s here, he’s in my heart every day. Every day I think about him and his family,” she says. “I really feel when I look at his pictures, I feel like I feel him. I don’t know if other transplant patients have felt that, but it’s like you feel his presence."

The climb begins at 8 a.m. It's not too late to register — just follow this link.

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