More than just Stem Cells: Lung Institute Supports Non-Profits to Promote Lung Health

The Lung Institute sponsored a Kick Butts Day event and Fight for Air Climb team last week in Tampa, Fla. to help promote lung health in the community.

The Lung Institute hosted a Kick Butts Day event and participated in the Fight for Air Climb last week, both events raising awareness about lung health in the Tampa Bay area. The Lung Institute specializes in stem cell therapy for people with lung diseases and is dedicated to helping improve patients' quality of life. By joining forces with non-profit organizations, the Lung Institute strives to help the community breathe more easily by providing funding and educational tools about lung health to the general public.

This March marks the fourth consecutive year that the Lung Institute has participated in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb and the second year of hosting a Kick Butts Day event, a national event created by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The Fight for Air Climb is a national event in major cities throughout the country where participants raise a minimum of $100 and climb the stairs of a tall building to not only understand what it feels like to have a lung disease, but also raise donations to help those who have been diagnosed with a lung disease. This year's Fight for Air Climb is very special year for the Lung Institute, because a Lung Institute patient, Tammi, was able to participate in the Fight for Air Climb in Cleveland.

"I was on the twenty-second floor and said to my sister, 'I don't think I can do it,'" Tammi said. "She asked, 'Why, is your breathing bad?' And I said, 'No, I think it's my legs!'" Tammi had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia and was only off of antibiotics for two days when she did the climb. "My goal was to do 10 flights, and I did 42, which was the whole thing. As soon as I reached the top, everyone was standing there, and I just thought, 'Oh my god, I did it!' It was the coolest thing ever. In the past I volunteered at this event, so it started out as helping others but eventually turned into helping myself," she said.

In Tampa, the event was held on March 19 at the Bank of America building, where 10 Lung Institute employees climbed 42 stories, or 914 steps, to the top. The Lung Institute made the top 10 list for most donations raised in the Tampa Fight for Air Climb.

"To me, the Fight For Air Climb represents time," stated Content Strategist David Ebner, who participated in the climb for the second year in a row. "Although the climb itself only takes a small portion of time, all of the preparation allowed me to reflect on the time I'd like to have back with my dad, who died of cancer and COPD. I also think about the time that I never had with him because he was taken from me so early in my life. I think about the time that my participation in this event might give back to some other child whose parent has a lung disease."

On the flip side, Kick Butts Day is a national event with the goal of reaching America's youth before they start smoking.

"To me Kick Butts Day is about involvement and community," said Robert Cole, testimonial coordinator. "Most everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health, but when an event like Kick Butts Day happens, it makes everyone realize how much smoking can affect others. It means a lot to me because if we change just one person's life for the better, it's all worth it."

The Kick Butts Day event took place in Lykes Gaslight Square Park on March 16, where the Lung Institute partnered with Tobacco Free Florida and the local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. The event included a game where participants kicked oversized stuffed cigarette butts into a trash can, solidifying the messaging of the event with an activity that engaged local community members.

Both events represent the prevalence of lung disease in the United States, with COPD alone affecting about 24 million people. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and events like Kick Butts Day and the Fight for Air Climb are helping to combat that statistic. Through participation in these events and the use of stem cell therapy for lung disease, the Lung Institute strives to reduce the number of people diagnosed with lung diseases and, for those who have already been diagnosed, help improve their quality of life.

About the Lung Institute

The Lung Institute is a leading medical provider of regenerative cellular therapy for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease in the United States. To date the organization has treated over 2,000 patients, 82 percent of which report an improved quality of life. Founded in 2013 in Tampa, Fla., the Lung Institute currently has clinics in Nashville, Tenn., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Pa., and Dallas, Texas opening on Monday, March 28. For more information, please visit or call (800) 382-8095.

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