Stephen Mitchell was losing his fight with IPF about five years ago.
He began running because he did not want to die of a lung disease, like his father. Although Stephen was a nonsmoker, he self-diagnosed himself with IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) because he felt that his breathing was different.
On his bad days, Stephen used roughly 40 liters of oxygen to breath. He states that people do not understand how it feels to fight for air. his day to day life involved:
- being stuck on the couch, unable to get up
- having to be wheeled to the bathroom by his wife
- needing assistance to sit down and stand up
He couldn’t think of a worse way to live.
Fortunately in 2012, Stephen received two new lungs. He went to the Indiana University Health Hospital and had a double lung transplant. He is now breathing very well with his new lungs.
Two years after transplant, he decided to climb 45 flights, or 804 steps, in Carew Tower. Furthermore, this challenge is called the Fight for Air Climb which is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association. Stephen’s spirit would not let him give up during the climb. He is passionate and will continue fighting for air.
The Delhi Township firefighters train eight months before the yearly event to support the American Lung Association’s great cause. Just like Stephen, the firefighters seek to bring awareness to the event.
You can support the fundraiser at the American Lung Associations website. Currently, they have only met half their goal of $180,000.
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