Detroit Fight for Air Climb event aims to raise awareness on lung disease prevention

Both firefighters and first responders participate in event

DETROIT – Rows of seats at Comerica Park are still blocked off but signs emerged showing a return to normal as hundreds climbed steps for a good cause.

“The lower half was easy peasy, second half I never want to sit in the 300s in my life,” said participant, Julie Zurawka.

For many this is the first time they have been back to Comerica Park since the pandemic hit.

“Incredible it is so nice feeling more normal, I got chills,” said Zurawka.

Others were also very overwhelmed as the state and country begin to feel a sense of normalcy again.

“You almost feel like you want to cry cause you haven’t seen in a year it’s very exciting,” said Vivian Dawson, Ambassador of the American Lung Association.

Typically, the Detroit Fight for Air Climb is held in the stairwells of high rise buildings. But not this year.

“Being outside was a new experience, lots of fun. Just being here with no game, no one else here was fantastic,” said Dawson.

Last year, this fundraiser was one of the last major events before we went into lockdown.

“We were the last event weekend so we got in just in time. We didn’t think we would fundraise what we did last year. We’re blown away by the support. It’s incredible,” said Maureen Rovas, executive director with the American Lung Association in Michigan.

Following new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance masks weren’t required in a public space like this, but the task of climbing all these steps remains daunting.

“We are gonna do the stairs till we can’t do it no more,” said participant Dana Bell.

Many who were there on Saturday were climbing for loved ones affected by lung disease.

“Personally, I’m walking for loved ones suffering and then my friends challenged me to do it with them,” said Bell.

Firefighters and first responders also participated in the event and climbed stairs.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.