VIDEO: Chicagoans rappel down 27-story building to raise money for respiratory health

By Mathias Meier

More than 50 altruistic daredevils brought some extra excitement to State and Lake streets last Sunday as they rappelled down the Wit Hotel’s outside wall.

The brave men and women who signed up for this extreme experience are all participants of the 10th biannual Skyline Plunge event organized by the Respiratory Health Association to raise funds and awareness for local lung disease research and programs.

Passersby at the busy downtown intersection stopped and gazed up to the sky as participants stepped over the edge one by one. The first one to go was Beverly Weable, a Berwyn resident who smoked for 27 years before giving it up a decade ago.

“I made that bad life decision for myself, but now I’m here to help raise awareness for this great cause and help get the quit lines out there,” Weable said. “We need to do whatever it takes to raise money because state funds are being cut and all the responsibility is falling on organizations like Respiratory Health to get the funds to do the research. Rappelling down a building just makes it more fun.”

Beverly Weable gets ready to step over the edge of theWit Hotel’s rooftop. (Mathias Meier/MEDILL)

The event raised $70,000 to address several health diseases, from lung cancer to asthma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic lower respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Photo at top: 278 feet above ground Kyle Dalton begins his climb down the building’s outside wall. (Mathias Meier/Medill)



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