A double-lung recipient from Maple Ridge is preparing to climb a 48-storey sky-scraper in support of the B.C. Lung Association.
Greg Greenslade received new lungs four years ago after suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and fatal lung condition marked by scarring in the lungs that makes breathing progressively more difficult. There is no cure for the disease. The only option is a lung transplant.
Greg will be joined by his daughters Lisa and Ashleigh for the 18th annual Climb the Wall at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre on Feb. 24. He will have to climb 739 steps to reach the top.
“My father was always a hardworking man, who never quit and always put family first,” explained Lisa.
“Self-pity is not a concept he understands. He fought hard, but pulmonary fibrosis can be ruthless and it wore him down. At a certain point, it was clear he couldn’t continue without getting a transplant. We were scared the day may never come — but it did.”
“July 4, 2015 is a day my family will never forget, “added Lisa.
“I remember it clearly. It felt like dad was on the operating table for a lifetime. It’s hard to believe it was four years ago. While dad is not quite 100 per cent his old self, he’s got that pep back in his step. He even works out four times a week now, something he never did before,” said Lisa, adding that he also takes time to help other people going through similar situations.
Ashleigh said the disease has made their family stronger, thanking the B.C. lung health community, including Greg’s lung donor, as well as his doctors, surgeon, nurses and the B.C. Lung Association.
“We’re determined to do what we can to advocate for the cause, give back and inspire hope,” said Ashleigh of the upcoming climb.
According to the B.C. Lung Association, one in five British Columbians live with lung conditions. All proceeds from the event will go towards lung health research, education and advocacy programs across the province.
Last year participants ranged from 5-years to 80-years-old.
More than 300 climbers are expected this year including more than one hundred fire fighters.
“People of all fitness levels, and all ages take part in Climb the Wall. Some climb solo, others as a family or team. Ultimately everyone – together with the Greenslade family – is united in an effort to improve the lives of British Columbians affected by lung disease,” said Chris Lam, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association.
Participants pay a $25 registration fee and commit to fundraising a minimum of $125 in donations.
Every climber receives a limited edition 2019 Climb the Wall t-shirt and brunch.
• For more information or to register call 604-731-5864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.