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On March 24, Cheri Cheatle of St. Marys will be one of many climbing the 45 flights of stairs, or 897 steps, to the top of One Oxford Center in Pittsburgh, not as a feat of endurance or as a contestant in a race, but rather as part of a cause near and dear to her heart.
The sixth annual Pittsburgh Fight for Air Climb will draw many, like Cheatle, who hope to raise awareness and funding for lung disease through their efforts.
Cheatle in particular hopes to raise awareness for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease that her mother Henrietta Cheatle was diagnosed with and currently suffers from.
IPF is described by the American Lung Association as a progressive and generally fatal disease characterized by scarring of the lungs that thickens the lining of the lungs, causing an irreversible loss of the tissue's ability to transport oxygen, ultimately taking away a patient's ability to breathe.