Hundreds plan to climb the 42 floors of Tampa's Bank of America Plaza

Fight for Air Climb organizers hope to raise $200,000 as participants climb 914 stairs to the 42nd floor of Bank of America Plaza building.

TAMPA, Fla. - Hundreds of people will climb stairs to the top of the Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa this weekend to raise money for the American Lung Association.

Fight for Air Climb organizers hope to raise $200,000 as participants walk up 914 stairs to the 42nd floor of the building on Saturday, March 10.

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The American Lung Association holds the event at various locations throughout the country.

The climb is open to anyone and is very popular among firefighters, many of whom opt to make to climb in full bunker gear.

Want to participate in the Fight for Air Climb? Click or tap here

Related: Two firefighters to walk in Skyway 10K to honor survivors

This year marks Celia Merritt’s eighth time making the Fight for Air Climb. She’s a member of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Merritt was inspired to get involved after her mother, Gail Porter, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Doctors gave Porter about six months to live. Seven years later, Porter is still going strong and Merritt is still climbing.

Porter’s form of cancer doesn't respond to chemotherapy, so they’ve been using target therapy to fight the disease. The treatment can be very expensive.

"Our copay is $2,700 for three months, and then drops to $700 a month for the rest of the year, but it cycles every January,” Merritt said. “Without the amazing support network from my family, the fire department and American Lung Association I would be lost.”

A GoFundMe was set up to help pay for Porter’s treatments.

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