Climbing 94 floors up the Hancock to fight lung cancer

Samuel Grief

Samuel Grief, Grief, associate professor of clinical family medicine, will “Hustle Up the Hancock” Sunday.

Samuel Grief is a Lung Health Champion.

He’s earned the title by raising $1,000 for lung disease research while committing to climb 94 floors to the top of the John Hancock Center at Sunday’s Hustle Up the Hancock event.

Grief, associate professor of clinical family medicine, will be among more than 4,000 climbers raising money for the Respiratory Health Association’s research and education programs.

“My father died of lung cancer when he was 51,” Grief said. “And my stepfather died of lung cancer as well. Those two stories definitely played a big role in motivating me to do event.”

Grief has participated in the Hustle Up the Hancock fundraiser every other year since 2006.

He doesn’t do any special training for the event beyond exercising regularly. “I just go to the UIC gym,” he said. “I go three times a week and run on the treadmill, do stairs and the elliptical. I’ve been exercising for the last 14 years.”

During the event, waves of climbers begin their ascent every 15 minutes. The fastest climbers have the earliest time slots.

Grief, who is scheduled to begin climbing at 7 a.m., has set his goal to climb the 94 floors in less than 20 minutes. His best time so far has been 20 minutes.

“Spectators are always welcome,” said. “They go up to the Signature Room on the 95th floor and watch all the climbers from there.”