SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The annual Fight for Air Climb challenge took place in Springfield Saturday to raise money to help families who are affected by lung disease.
Hundreds of western Massachusetts residents and local firefighters walked up to the 24th floor of One Monarch Place in Springfield.
Most people who climbed the stairs Saturday morning may not have been wearing full fire gear, but they were all there for the same cause, to fight for healthy lungs, healthy air.
"Not being able to breathe is probably the worst thing ever. To feel like you're going die of suffocation is terrible," said Scott Frink from the respiratory department at Kindred Hospital Park View.
Asthma is a widespread lung disease that affects millions of Americans and their daily routines.
"Since I was 10 years old, I had an inhaler in my pocket," said Scott Frink.
Many people who climbed all 515 stairs told 22News they are also fighting for smoke-free air.
"For someone who's an athlete, it's the ultimate. I physically would not go out to a restaurant that had smoking or want to stay in a hotel that had smoking," said Paul Curley, the Competition Director of the American Lung Association.
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, but it's also the most preventable.
Mass Appeal host Seth Stutman was also there. He put on fire gear and climbed all the way up to the 24th floor.
For more information on the event and how to donate, visit the American Lung Association's website .