Cleveland Woman Climbs Progressive Field with Portable Oxygen
Daughter, husband to join her as she climbs 1,200 stairs in Lung Association fundraiser, May 15
CLEVELAND (April 11, 2022) – Melissa Egts wears and carries oxygen every day due to a chronic lung disease caused by a lifetime of pneumonias that scarred and damaged her lungs. But she is not letting that stop her from running her “marathon” at the American Lung Association’s Fight For Climb at Progressive Field on May 15.
“For anyone who uses oxygen, steps are the toughest obstacle. A flight of steps looks like a mountain. This is going to feel like a marathon for me, but honestly if anyone who uses oxygen can do it, I'm probably one of the few people who can do it,” said Egts.
Her journey with lung disease began at the age of 3, when she suffered from a strong influenza and was hospitalized for several months.
“The doctors literally told my mother there was nothing else she could do for me and to take me home, and if I didn't die to bring me back. I was a sick kid for a long time but I gradually got better, but I never could breathe. Repeated pneumonias over the years further scarred and damaged my lungs and I was diagnosed with COPD and bronchiecstasis,” she said.
Egts used oxygen during her pregnancy to protect her daughter but didn't have to use it full time until 2016. Her motivation also includes encouraging others suffering from lung disease to use their oxygen source.
“I want to normalize wearing oxygen in public. So many people won't wear their oxygen outside of their homes because they don't like the way they look with it on or don't want people to look at them. It's so important to wear oxygen as prescribed because without it you're doing real harm to your body and to your mental health, as well,” said Egts.
She will Climb 1,190 stairs with her husband and daughter at Progressive Field to raise awareness and funding for lung disease research.
“I’m passionate about supporting the Lung Association because it’s the leading research organization and people who use oxygen need more cures, more treatments, easier ways to use oxygen, and clean air,” she said.
For more information about the Cleveland Climb, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Cleveland.
About the American Lung Association The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.