For the past 8 years Steve has made it is personal mission to climb up 94 flights of stairs in honor of Kari. All of this with the goal of making sure, that as long as he’s breathing, she is not forgotten. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be a part of his mission and even more, I got a chance to climb up the 94 flights with Kari’s closest friends. I knew, at that moment, that this event and this young girl were remarkable. Having just met me minutes prior to the start of the climb, these gals and I became instant pals and they insisted on sticking together, all the way to the top.
And so we climb for Kari.
This Sunday I will climb in my 2nd Hustle up the Hancock. My training schedule is quite different than last years, and overall my health is much improved. Instead of training for 6 months on the stair stepper, I’ve been training for 3 months in my 20 story office building stair well. My “work out” buddies from the gym caught sight of my routine and I recruited some of them to join in the stair climbing fun. They are all natural born athletes and have pushed me to climb faster, stronger, better. All the while, I’m asking myself, “Why did I do this again!” and then I remember the sounds of beeping machines, the smell of bandages and it all becomes clear.
And so we climb to stay Healthy.
Dr. Navdeep Chandel of Northwestern University received a Lung Cancer Promise of Tomorrow Award from the Respiratory Health Association to do research on adenocarcinoma, a type of non small cell lung cancer that is increasingly affecting non smokers. What’s more? The sate of Illinois is Smoke-Free because the Respiratory Health Association made and set policies to protect the air we breathe. A combination of research and prevention means that fewer people will be affected by debilitating lung disorders.
And so we climb to Raise Funds.
She was a tremendous athlete. She would have beaten us all to the top. She had many, many friends and admirers. She is my little hero, Chloe. This year her 17 year old heart will carry me all the way to the top of the John Hancock Center where her parents will be standing by, cheering, smiling and thinking how much she would have loved to do something like this. My cheeks will be as pink as they were the day Chloe saved me. When I got out of surgery the first thing my family noticed was how rosy my cheeks were. I looked alive again for the first time on months. On Sunday we will all feel alive when we are together. It will be real and pure and we’ll remember that this life is for her.
And so we climb for Chloe.