RKC’s Inhaler Sailors Stepped Up to Raise Funds for the American Lung Association

04.14.14 | Permalink

Team Participated in the “Fight for Air Climb” and Raised more than $1600

Inhaler Sailers Dori Camacho, Marie Anderson, Shelli Porter, Jessica Tetrick, and Kristen Niemi climbed 842 steps.

Inhaler Sailors Dori Camacho, Marie Anderson, Shelli Porter, Jessica Tetrick, and Kristen Niemi climbed 892 steps.

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell’s Tampa Office participated in an unusual fundraiser where participants scale 42 floors of a high rise building to help fund research and education in the fight against lung cancer and lung disease in the American Lung Association’s (ALA) annual Fight for Air Climb. Because many of the participants on the RKC team suffer from asthma, they dubbed themselves the “Inhaler Sailors.”

“The best part of the event is what we do for raising awareness and funds to help those affected by, and to prevent future cases of, lung disease. Some members of the team have loved ones suffering from cancer and others have lost loved ones to cancer, so to be able to climb and raise funds in their honor is really special,” said Jessica Tetrick, an associate in the Tampa office and the team captain.

Jessica is a veteran climber in the event and brought it to the Tampa office for the first time last year. In addition to Jessica, the team included Marie Anderson, Doralene Camacho, Shelli Porter, Associate John Schwencke, and Sandra Smith.

“While I was the team captain, many others took leadership roles. Dori was our ALA contact and helped coordinate presentations and the ALA’s commercial shoot in which we got to participate. Kristen took the lead on designing and obtaining the team t-shirts and Sandra penned our team’s witty name. Everyone did a great job raising funds through word of mouth and social networking. Each climber was required to raise $100 in order to race on race day and we more than doubled that goal,” Jessica said.

Far from the same old 5k race, the team raced up 892 steps in the Bank of American Plaza in downtown Tampa. To prepare for the race, the stairwells of the building were open every Tuesday and Thursday for about three months prior to the race. The Inhaler Sailors trained as much as they could on those days, walking over to the Bank of America building together after work to climb and train together.

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say how hard it is on your heart and lungs,” noted Jessica. “I always tell people who have never done it before that you don’t notice how hard it is on your legs because you’re breathing so hard and your heart is pounding. It’s not until you get to the top that you realize your legs feel like Jello!  And, even though it only lasts for 10-20 minutes, it’s an incredible workout,” she added.

According to the American Lung Association, people participating in the event gain new respect for their lungs and get perspective of what it’s like to have trouble breathing, just as many of the people suffering with lung disease do each day.

While the team itself may not have placed first in the actual race, Jessica says they certainly lapped everyone on the couch! Great job Inhaler Sailors!

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