By THERESA PROUDFIT
IRON MOUNTAIN - Heather Hayes, a physician assistant at Dr. Daniel Mitchell's office is participating in a rappelling event for charity in Chicago this fall.
Heidi De La Teja Photo
Heather Hayes of Iron Mountain is pictured with her father-in-law, Jeff Hayes, on her wedding day in June 2008.
Hayes, an Iron Mountain High School and Central Michigan University graduate, signed up for an event called the Skyline Plunge.
The Plunge is a fundraiser to raise awareness for the Respiratory Health Association.
The RHA promotes healthy lungs and fights lung disease through research, advocacy and education.
The event will take place in downtown Chicago, where Hayes will be rappelling 27 stories (278 feet) above State and Lake streets down the signature lightning bolt of the Wit Hotel.
Hayes is really psyched for the event.
"I have wanted to do Skyline Plunge ever since I heard about it," she said. "I think that sometimes, to make a difference, you have to make a big splash to draw attention to a subject."
"I feel that lung health is largely overlooked, especially preventible lung disease from things like smoking. I am drawn to extreme sports and think this event will definitely raise awareness," Hayes said.
Being a physician assistant, Hayes treats and tries to help prevent lung disease on a daily basis but this event is more personal for her.
In 2008 just months after her wedding to her husband, Adam Hayes, she lost her father-in-law, Jeff Hayes, to lung cancer.
Hayes is doing this event in his memory.
"My father-in-law was such a good man. He was loved by so many people and his absence is definitely noticed," she said. "I didn't get enough time with him. This is for you, Dad Hayes."
Hayes pledged that she would raise at least $1,000 to secure her spot in the Sept. 8, 2013 event. To help support her, visit her fundraising page at my.imisfriendraising.com/personalPage.aspx?registrationID=309334 or send a check or money order to: Heather Hayes at 1108 East E St., Iron Mountain MI 49801.
Theresa Proudfit's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.