More than two years into his fight against stage 3B lung cancer, Robert Litten did something courageous, altruistic -- and a little downright crazy to help others with the disease.
The 59-year-old from Cleveland, who has undergone almost 30 radiation treatments, different kinds of chemotherapy and other medical procedures, recently took part in a Polar Bear Plunge, going knee-deep into icy waters to raise money for the American Lung Association. His son Charlie Litten, 23, later posted the photo on Reddit.
“He’s a normal dad who likes sports with a terrible sense of humor,” Litten told the Huffington Post, adding that his father has remained positive and continues to go to work everyday throughout his battle with the disease.
The January event, which took place in Bath, Ohio, raised more than $500. But the Litten family wasn't done fundraising. Family members signed up to climb Cleveland’s 804-step Terminal Tower for the American Lung Association and put the plunge proceeds towards the larger goal of raising more than $1,000 for the cause. Almost two months into their fundraising efforts, "Team Litten" has raised $4,320.
“We told ourselves we wouldn't make a competition out of it but now we kind of want to win,” Charlie Litten said about his team’s top spot and incentive to post the photo on the social news website.
His father has remained a humble supporter, Litten says. "He pretends he doesn't care about people giving money, but it really does make him happy to see so much good in others," Litten says, "You only get one dad and I got a great one."
Millie Litten, the only daughter of the six siblings, says the event is more about showing solidarity for her father.
“Through it all, our dad has never given up,“ she writes on her personal fundraising page, “We felt like this was an opportunity to prove our own endurance, which can never add up to the level our dad has demonstrated. We love you, Dad.”
Click here to learn more about the “Fight For Air” climb and American Lung Association.