KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- 42 flights and 902 stairs. Hundreds of people, fighting.

“Lung cancer is the number one cancer in both men and women,” Leslie Hernandez Brown, who is with the American Lung Association, said.

Brown said lung cancer does not get the attention that it needs.

“A lot of folks know that those patients that have been affected by lung cancer have smoked in the past. You take smoking out of the equation in lung cancer, radon is the number one reason why people get cancer,” Brown said.

In the crowd of hundreds was firefighter paramedic Levi Whitley, who said the cancer hits close to home.

“We have gear that we put names on them and one of them is my grandpa. He died of lung cancer, so we carry them up while we actually fight for air,” Whitley voiced.

He did the intense hike with quite the load on him.

“It’s a struggle but it’s fun. It’s about 55 pounds so it is heavy, it keeps us from the heat coming in but it also keeps the air from coming out, so we are just baking,” Whitley explained.

The event is only in its fourth year, but the growth and support has been rewarding.

“We feel like we are making those strides in our mission. We raised nearly $200,000,” said Brown.

And besides the awareness, support and donations, Sunday’s event served as a reminder to get your yearly check-ups.

“You should get your yearly physical because they are going to catch some stuff. There are stories that you hear all around that people get spots on their lungs and they will catch it if you get your physical. So, your yearly physical is very important,” Whitley stated.

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