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'Hustle Up The Hancock' Climb Promotes Respiratory Health (PHOTOS)

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When he was two years old, Jon Paul Adams started wheezing. His father rushed him to the emergency room a few times, and in December 2008, the child was diagnosed with asthma. Adams has been studying up on the disease, its symptoms and treatments, ever since.

Hank Chamberlain's wife had a double lung transplant eight years ago. The operation seemed successful for quite a while, but recently she was diagnosed with stage III rejection. Doctors told Hank his wife only has a few months to live.

Amy Pokras lost both her parents to respiratory disease; her mother passed away only last year from stage IV lung cancer. She and her son Zachery are both living with asthma now.

Amy, Hank, and Jon have all been touched by respiratory illness. The other thing they have in common: they joined 4,000 other people in strapping on some running shoes and climbing to the top of the John Hancock Center last weekend, to raise money for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.

This year was RHAMC's 14th annual "Hustle Up the Hancock" climb. At the time of publication, the climbers had raised just over $1 million for the organization. Some undertook a half-climb of 52 floors; others climbed the entire 94-story building, celebrating their 1,632-step journey in the building's beautiful observatory. The immensely popular climb sold out in just 90 minutes.

Those who participated were proud to support the cause. “I just hope to keep my parents’ memories alive,” Amy Pokras said. “That’s why I’m doing this: to make sure people remember them and what they went through so that other people’s journeys are easier.

Check out some photos from the Hustle Up The Hancock here:

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