Being Wheezy, Ain’t Easy
On April 7, 2018 members of the County College of Morris Respiratory Therapy Club, two members of the faculty and some friends participated in a fundraising effort for the American Lung Association in NJ. The event “The Fight For Air” Climb in Newark, NJ consisted of a 28 floor, 504 steps stair climb. We all knew that before registering for the event but we did it anyway. We knew that the money raised was going to be used for education and research in pulmonary disease and to continue the fight for clean air.
One of the best and most enjoyable parts of the process leading up to the climb was coming up with a logo for our shirts. The students brainstormed for a while and they began talking about a character from “Toy Story” named Wheezy – you know – the little penguin that squeaks when you squeeze him. OK. Next was to get an image that wasn’t copyrighted. A friend created a drawing – just an outline of Wheezy with an inhaler. It was a great drawing but it took a five year old girl, Cali, to bring Wheezy to life. She colored a few samples and we decided on one of them. Inspiration for the team came from several sources like, celebrating the lives of family members and friends who have succumbed to lung diseases, but there is no doubt in my mind that Cali’s artwork provided the strength and emotional spark for the entire team to not only complete the climb, but raise $4,636.00. In total, hundreds of participants helped the ALANJ by raising almost $100,000.00.