A LOOK BACK: Sudbury Firefighters Helping Wipe Out Lung Cancer Step By Step

A team of nine participated in the 2013 Boston Fight for Air Climb at the BNY Mellon Center in Boston.

Shane Medeiros knew the burn his body would feel last weekend. He's done this before and feels it's important to do it again.

But the burn is nothing compared to what his best friend recently felt.

Two months ago, Anthony Burke lost his father, Tom, Jr., to lung cancer. Tom was a 20-year-plus firefighter from Westwood and became sick from the job, Medeiros said.

"He got lung cancer, lost a lung and had to retire," Medeiros said. "He battled it for 10 years it was directly related (to being on the job)."

Saturday morning, Medeiros, a three-year firefighter for the Sudbury Fire Department, suited up in 70 pounds of gear and trudged up 41 floors of the BNY Mellon Center in Boston for the Boston Fight for Air Climb, a charity event that raises funds for the American Lung Association.

He completed the course last year, and this year recruited eight other Sudbury firefighters to join the cause.

"It's guys like (Tom) that we are running it for," Medeiros said. "A lot of money was raised for research and for helping him. He was always on oxygen, but still active with the department. It's important for all of us to remember guys who (died from) cancer."

Thousands of participants, both firefighters and non-firefighters, will took part in Saturday's climb, which is 82 flights and 789 stairs.

"Stair climb went great," he said by email after the event. "We all did well and were able to raise $2,800 for the American Lung Association. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves."

The event started at 8 a.m., with a person going every 15 seconds until 4 p.m.

"It's pretty strenuous, a lot harder than it sounds, Medeiros said. "I didn't think it was gonna be bad (last year), but when I got to the top I was pretty gassed. You're out of breath. You're walking at a steady pace, you try to run the last few (flights), but ..."

Medeiros said his team has received full support from the department and Fire Chief Bill Miles.

"Our Union Local 2023 was generous enough to donate $1,000 in support of our members that are participating," Medeiros said.

The Sudbury firefighting team consisted of: Shane Medeiros, Mike Kilgallen, Jay Lucier, Rob Beer, Bill Francis, Kyle Gordon, Dan Wells, Luis Forte and Alex Gardner.

"This has really been a department-wide event," Medeiros said, "and the support has been inspiring."


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