Fourteen-year-old Shaun Stephens-Whale of Roberts Creek has made his New Year's resolution - he's in training to scale 739 stairs on Feb. 8.
He'll be one of hundreds of participants in the British Columbia Lung Association's third annual Climb the Wall: The StairClimb for Clean Air at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.
This will be Stephens-Whale's second year participating in Climb the Wall. He first found out about the climb when he saw information about the event on the Internet and thought joining a B.C. Lung Association event would be a good way to help other asthmatics like him. Each participant in Climb the Wall receives incentive prizes for raising money for lung health research, tobacco education and clean air programs. As last year's top individual fund-raiser, Stephens-Whale hopes to surpass his previous year's fund-raising total.
"Ask family and friends for support," advises Stephens-Whale. "They really help you out." A participant in 10 kilometre races, cross country and track and field, Stephens-Whale trains for the climb by running up and down the stairs. He hopes many new faces will come out to the event and offers the following advice.
"Definitely train a little," he said. "It's easy at the beginning, but gets tough further up the stairs." Something as simple as breathing is a challenge for one in five British Columbians. The B.C. Lung Association - with the support of events like Climb the Wall - is here to help through research, education and support for people with lung disease and their loved ones.
For more information about the event, check out www.stairclimb.com, or call 1-604-731-5864.