Chattanooga. TN Asthmatic Man Climbs Mt. McKinley To Raise Asthma Awareness
According to Chattanooga TN News Reports, A Chattanooga man scales one of the world’s tallest peaks to draw attention to pediatric asthma. The 34-year-old, father of two, explains why such a common condition took him all the way to Alaska.
“It’s something everyone has to have but they take for granted, good quality of breathing air,” said Jonathan Lehman, who was diagnosed with a mild case of asthma 4 years ago. The Chattanooga Firefighter was determined to not let the disease slow him, or anyone else, down.
“The stigma that used to be attached to kids with asthma was that you were relegated to inactivity, and that you had to stay inside, and that you couldn’t play sports, and that’s really unnecessary,” said Lehman.
To prove his point, in May, Lehman started his ascent on Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. It took him 14 days to scale, in temperatures below zero. Lehman used the mountain as a metaphor for spreading the word about lung health. “The mountain would give more than enough parallel to respiratory issues because as you go higher on the mountain the air is thinner and it’s harder to breath,” said Lehman.
His goal wasn’t to raise money, just awareness. “Asthma doesn’t have to be a limiting factor whether you’re a kid or an adult. We live in a great city that has tons of outlets for creative enjoyment whether it’s on the rivers or in the woods, or walking,” said Lehman.
Now that Lehman is back, he’s focusing on a new goal. He’s part of the Citizen Forester Program, a weekend class where participants plant trees and learn about the environment. Lehman says he’d like to move that program into local elementary schools.