Community climbs stairs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in support of lung health research

ATLANTA — An annual event to raise money for lung health research, education and advocacy saw dozens of people climb thousands of stairs on Saturday.

First responders, firefighters and community members took part in the “Fight For Air Climb” on Saturday morning by climbing 2,600 steps up to the top of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We are thrilled to give our climbers the opportunity to experience the excitement of an NFL and MLS stadium first-hand as they climb the best set of stairs in all of Georgia,” said Calle Wallace, Development Manager for the American Lung Association.

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Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne emceed the event.

Daniel Trapp with Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services told him that he’s grateful for events like this support firefighters.

“I feel like firefighters, we have that obligation to our community to serve,” Trapp said. “So if there’s a fundraiser...we have that obligation to at least go out and climb this.”


Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway spoke with a woman who says she is lacing up her running shoes to bring attention to the disease that killed her husband.

Karen McClelland said her husband, who had never smoked, died from lung cancer in 2015.

“We had no idea you could get lung cancer and you were a non-smoker,” she said.

McClelland says she’s been working with the American Lung Association since then.

“If I can bring more beauty to the people who are battling this disease and take that stigma off, I’ve done my job,” McClelland said.

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This was the 19th year for the event.