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On Saturday, March 24, St. Marys residents Cheri Cheatle and her mother Henrietta completed the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb held this year at One Oxford Center in Pittsburgh.
The annual event is meant to raise awareness and funding for lung disease, including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease that Henrietta was diagnosed with six years ago.
IPF is described by the American Lung Association as a progressive and generally fatal disease characterized by scarring of the lungs that thickens their lining, which causes an irreversible loss of the tissue's ability to transport oxygen and ultimately takes away a patient's ability to breathe. There is no known cause or cure for IPF.
Cheatle said her mother participated in and completed the climb, consisting of 45 flights of stairs, while carefully monitoring her physical condition throughout.
"Mom and I survived the stair climb...It did take us a little longer whenever Mom's pulse oximeter (it measures the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream) went below 90, and then we stopped for a break. I don't think any of us minded stopping frequently to catch our breath," Cheatle said.