FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2022- Paul Kosak will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro an epic adventure starting October 15th with his close friends, Walk Kelleher and Tony Shahl to raise awareness and funds for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet standing at 19,341 feet at the summit and will climb the Lemosho 8 -day route starting October 15, 2022. In an effort to support his good friend, Walt, on his current endeavor to climb all the “Seven Summits”, which are the highest peaks on each continent Paul will be joining him on this summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
“We are taking this journey as an opportunity to raise awareness for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and funds for the entire community effected by Alpha-1. The patients of the Alpha-1 community deserve recognition for their relentless efforts in funding a cure, it is the least we can do is show our commitment to the cause by continuing to raise necessary awareness,” stated Paul Kosak.
The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Paul is climbing in honor of his mother, Lisa Kosak, and all the Alphas around the world. Paul is the son of Lisa Kosak of Vero Beach, Florida, she is lung affected Alpha patient, an AlphaNet coordinator for 9 years and an Alpha-1 advocate. It took just over a year for Lisa to be diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. In 2007, she was diagnosed at National Jewish Hospital in Denver and moved to Florida in 2008. Their home in Colorado was located at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, which in turn was really hurting Lisa’s lungs. They packed up all of their belongings and moved down to sea level. Lisa’s breathing has improved dramatically with the decrease in elevation. Lisa has been active in the community since day one and recently participated in the Alpha-1 advocacy day in Washington, D.C. helping secure a co-sponsorship from Congressman Posey of Brevard and Indian River Counties serving Florida’s 8th Congressional District and a resolution to make November Alpha-1 awareness month in the State of Florida from both Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.
“When I was diagnosed, the Alpha-1 community was so helpful and welcoming, they treated my children and I like “family”. I was completely thrilled at how both my sons jumped right in and became a part of the community by helping with fundraising walks, attending national conferences and education days. When Paul and his friends decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it was only natural for Paul to ask if they could do it for the Alpha-1 community and his friends agreed. “Climbing for a Cure” is one of many ways we can bring awareness to our condition and to bring in funding that will be used to fund research and to find a cure. My heart is full of pride, and it is also full of hope, that other Alphas or their family members will participate in some type of awareness activity, it will take all of us make it happen,” stated Lisa Kosak.
The goal of summitting Kilimanjaro has incentivized the three young men to get back into shape after the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting this target has helped us get back in a routine including training 5 days a week involving weightlifting and extensive cardio on the stair climber.
“I have known Paul for nearly a decade and have watched him support his mom in so many ways, at Building Friends for A Cure community fundraisers, the annual Virtual Walks and by spreading Alpha-1 awareness year-round. We are so proud of him for partaking in this incredible journey and for increasing awareness of Alpha-1. Paul is an example for many family members of Alphas on how to get involved and support those affected by Alpha-1. People give to people, and we know that Climbing for a Cure will be a success because of their incredible network of friends and family. We wish Paul a safe journey and can’t wait to see him wave the Alpha-1 flag from the top of the summit at Mount Kilimanjaro,” exclaimed Angela McBride, Senior Director, Community Engagement and Corporate Relations.
Paul’s journey will be followed on the Alpha-1 Foundation’s social media channels. #Alpha1ClimbingforaCure
You can support Paul’s climb on his Climbing for a Cure page: CLICK HERE