Health Check: Cancer patient sets high goal

Pete De Angelis

It's all uphill and no easy feat. The American Lung Association's annual Fight for Air stair climb up One Financial Plaza in downtown Providence. It's 29 flights and almost 600 stairs.

Peter De Angelis may not win the race, but he plans on finishing, which in and of itself will be a huge accomplishment.

"I'm 33 and about 6 months ago I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer: B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma," De Angelis said.

It was a complete shock to De Angelis, who has never picked up a cigarette. But he's no stranger to adversity. He was born with Tourette's syndrome and despite that went on to make Eagle Scout. He's proud of that. And he's proud to be making the climb this weekend for his 3-year-old son, Dante.

"I definitely want him when he gets older to be able to look at things that his father did and be proud whether I'm there or not," De Angelis said.

De Angelis has already undergone chemotherapy for his lung cancer, and he'll be monitored closely. So why, with such a serious lung disease, does he plan on making such a steep and physically taxing climb?

"Mostly to inspire other people to know that they can participate in events like this despite any condition they might have," De Angelis said. "I got the OK from my doctor, and it was all uphill from there."

De Angelis will be one of about 750 people taking part in the fifth annual stair climb to benefit the American Lung Association on Saturday. You can register on site beginning at 9 a.m.