Lung cancer will cause just over 27 percent of American cancer-deaths in 2014, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society.
About 7,600 of those patients will be Pennsylvanians.
The American Lung Association’s website says it seeks to improve the nation’s lung health in part by raising public awareness of such information.
The association will stage its latest local fundraising effort at the Mohegan Sun Arena on April 5 in the 2014 Arena Climb.
“Since breathing is a challenge for so many, this is a unique opportunity for those who still have their health to help,” said Donna Ray-Reifler of the American Lung Association.
The Arena Climb, now in its sixth year, dares participants to scale an entire floor of the arena, climbing up and down some 1,224 steps.
Although climbers are timed, Ray-Reifler said the event is about promoting health, and everyone is encouraged to climb at his or her own pace.
“It’s a perfect exercise,” she said of stair climbing. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a real feel-good event.”
Organizers invite participants to register with teams, groups or individually. In the past, Ray-Reifler said a variety of groups have taken part, including families, the military and firefighters, a number of whom climbed wearing heavy equipment.
Potential climbers must make a minimum donation of $100 in order to participate, which can mean simply writing a check, Ray-Reifler said, or pooling donations from friends, family and co-workers.
She encouraged online pre-registration, because the website provides the option to solicit potential donors via email. They can then make donations online, adding to a participant’s donation total.
Plus, she said, it helps her figure out how many T-shirts she needs to order, as each climber receives a free shirt and an “action photo” taken during the climb.
Proceeds from the event help fund a variety of American Lung Association programs, including support groups for lung disease sufferers and an asthma camp for kids, Ray-Reifler said.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins also are offering discounted ticket packages to the game following the Arena Climb. The Penguins will face off against the Albany Devils and will donate a portion of the ticket sales to the American Lung Association.
“The Penguins are very sweet to us,” Ray-Reifler said, noting the team, historically, has held practice during the climb.