On June 19, UnitedHealthcare served as a presenting sponsor for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb for the eighth year in a row. The Fight For Air Climb was created to raise money annually for lung treatment and research. This year's event took place at Soldier Field in Chicago, so there was ample room for participants to climb side-by-side without getting in each other’s way and, of course, plenty of stairs to climb.
“UnitedHealthcare is always trying to help our members lead healthier lives though our actions by giving back to the community, which UnitedHealthcare does quite often with charitable organizations across the country. This is one of those events,” said UnitedHealthcare Director of Management Cheryl Peterson.
Over the seven years that she has participated, Peterson has seen more and more people sign up for Fight For Air Climb. She believes this uptick in participation is due to getting more exposure through word of mouth as well as media exposure.
Many who participate in the Fight For Air Climb have a personal interest in and connection to lung-related health issues, either having lung problems themselves or knowing someone who does.
“We call it the climb because as you are climbing stairs, you’re out of breath. It gives you that connection. If you have a loved one or a family member who struggles to breathe, it gives you a real feel for how difficult it is to try to breathe,” Peterson said. “I have a really personal connection. I actually lost my sister and my father within three months of each other. My sister was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma of the lung, and my father suffered from COPD and emphysema.”
“When you’re doing the Fight For Air Climb, you'll meet a lot of folks that have a personal connection. There are folks that suffer from disease or cancer or asthma that actually participate in the climb as well,” she continued. “It’s really a worthy cause. It's one of those charitable organizations where the dollars that you're raising really go towards the American Lung Association. It's a really fun and wonderful event.”
People can sign up individually or even recruit friends and family to sign up as a team to tackle the Fight For Air Climb. Participants must reach a fundraising minimum to participate as well as pay a registration fee for tor teams. The money is well spent as nearly all of it goes toward the American Lung Association at 89 cents to the dollar.
“UnitedHealthcare has had a team of employees and their family and friends that have participated in the climb year after year. It’s one of the largest fundraising events for the American Lung Association. They do have other events throughout the year, but the Fight For Air Climb is where we try to reach close to $500,000,” Peterson said.
For more information about UnitedHealthcare and its annual presenting sponsorship of the Fight for the Climb event, visit https://www.uhc.com/.