Hundreds climb 802 Terminal Tower stairs to benefit American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb

Youngest team member is 7 years old

CLEVELAND - Hundreds of people laced up their shoes and put their legs and lungs to the test for the annual 'Fight for Air Climb' at Cleveland's Terminal Tower on Saturday.

Participants climbed 802 stairs, or 42 flights, to help raise money for the American Lung Association.

This year the youngest team member to make the climb was just 7 years old.

Konnor Babetski was diagnosed with asthma when he was 23 months old. The young boy has spent much of his young life in and out of the hospital dealing with the chronic lung disease.

After several medications and numerous doctor visits, Babetski found a program that helps him live a relatively normal life. 

Babetski's mother, Kellie, said it was his time in and out of the hospital that he started to ask questions about other children who are affected by lung disease. He wanted to find a way to help them.

That's when Kellie and Babetski found the 'Fight for Air Climb.' 

"What boy wouldn't want to run a bunch of stairs! He was hooked! Konnor is very empathetic and is always looking for ways to help others," Kellie said. 

Babetski participated in Saturday's run with his parents. 

He finished the race ahead of most of his team members, with energy left to spare.

“To me, it was a little easy," Babetski said tirelessly. 

In addition, 75 area firefighters climbed the steps wearing their full gear.

“To show everybody that if we can climb these stairs in this gear, anyone can," Scott Maynor, of the Lyndhurst Fire Department, said. 

Money raised during the fundraising events goes directly to education, research and advocacy within the American Lung Association.

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