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Ontario Lung Association and Hamilton Tiger-Cats Join Forces to Step Up for Lung Health

May 27, 2015

Hamilton, ON – The Ontario Lung Association and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced today that they are teaming up for a new fundraising event called Stair to Care, featuring the first-ever game-day in-stadium stair climb at the Ticats’ magnificent new home – Tim Hortons Field on September 19, 2015.

The Tiger-Cats and Ontario Lung Association will officially launch the event at a press conference at Tim Hortons Field at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 27.

September 19 was chosen specifically as it falls during week 38. According to data compiled by the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System (OASIS), the 38th week of the year continues to be the peak time for asthma attacks among young people. This phenomenon – known among health-care professionals as the “September Spike” – sends large numbers of school children and their family members to emergency departments and doctors’ offices in the weeks after the start of the new school year.

The Tiger-Cats host Edmonton in a 4 p.m. game following the Stair to Care climb on September 19.

“As many as one in four Ontario children lives with asthma,” said George Habib, president and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association. “Staging a significant community event during the September peak will allow us to reach more people with the messages and tips to help keep these children safe during this spike.”

The Ontario Lung Association is also pleased to introduce Jake Olson, the 6ft 8in, 315lb Ticats offensive lineman, as the official player ambassador for the Stair to Care event. Jake, 26, who is entering his second year in the CFL, has had asthma since early childhood and is embracing the chance to step up for lung health and better breathing.

“I am very excited by this opportunity to raise awareness about asthma and lung health,” said Jake.  “I know the challenges that I had to overcome as an athlete with asthma. I want kids to know that no challenge is insurmountable when your asthma is under control.”

“We are delighted to welcome Jake as the face of Stair to Care and privileged to partner with the iconic Tiger-Cats organization on this exciting event,” said Habib.

Stair to Care is a new community-based fundraising event designed to increase awareness of the importance of breathing and physical activity for everyone, including children with asthma. Funds generated from Stair to Care will be used to ensure that all children and their families have access to appropriate treatment and resources they need to manage their asthma.

Said Ticats chief commercial officer Matt Afinec: “The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are pleased to partner with the Ontario Lung Association to present the first-ever Stair to Care fundraising event. By fostering a culture of wellness and increased physical activity, Stair to Care will make a real difference in the lives of the adults and children in our community living with a lung disease like asthma.”

About Stair to Care

The inaugural Stair to Care event will be held on Saturday, September 19, when up to 1,000 participants, supporters and sponsors will challenge the stadium steps – individually or in teams – in a family-oriented event full of fun and football.  After the stair climb, participants will celebrate at an exclusive tailgate party featuring live entertainment and photo-ops with Ticats alumni before they head back into the stands to cheer on the Tabbies as they take on the powerful Edmonton Eskimos.  To find out more, or to register as an individual or team, visit www.stairtocare.ca.

About the Ontario Lung Association

The Lung Association is a registered charity that assists, educates and empowers individuals living with or caring for others with lung disease. The Lung Association provides programs and services to patients and health-care providers, invests in lung research and campaigns for improved policies on lung health. Information about lung health issues is available through the Lung Health Information Line 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or at info@on.lung.ca.

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Contact: John Chenery, Ontario Lung Association | 416-864-9911 ext. 292 | jchenery@on.lung.ca