Jennifer MacDonald is preparing herself for 48 floors of sweat, tears and smiles when she does this year's Climb the Wall event in Vancouver on March 3.
She's a first-time Climber attempting the charity fundraiser in honour of her late mother, who would have turned 63 today (Feb. 12).
The annual event, in its 12th year, benefits BC Lung Association research, education and advocacy programs.
MacDonald and her two "Stair Hogs" teammates - Judy and Dominique Parker - are closing in on their current goal to raise $1,500 for the cause.
MacDonald's mother Annie-Jean, or A.J., succumbed to lung cancer in 2010. Her pal Judy's mom, Agnes Felder, was also diagnosed with lung cancer at around the same time.
As a team, they wanted to do something to help raise awareness and fight lung disease.
"I've heard it's not easy to do," MacDonald said of the 739-step Climb at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel. "But we really don't care if it takes us 10 minutes or two hours, we'll do it - even if we have to crawl up those stairs."
MacDonald, a Newton resident, said she's getting in shape for the challenge.
"I'm walking more, and that includes doing the stairs in our townhouse. I'm going up and down the stairs for 15 or 30 minutes at a time, whenever I can find the time."
To participate, Climbers must each pay $25 to register and commit to raising at least $125. In return, they're given a T-shirt, post-event brunch and a chance to win a trip for two to Bermuda.
Last year's event raised $190,000. The fastest Climb time was four minutes, 25 seconds; most got it done in 10 or 15 minutes.
"Some participants climb for themselves, others to honour a friend or family member affected by lung disease," stated Kate Jarvis, organizer of Climb the Wall. "And while each participant's motivation is different, their reward is the same: making a difference in the lives of the one in five British Columbians affected by lung disease."
To get involved in the event, or to make a donation, visit www.stairclimb.ca or call 604-731-LUNG (5864).