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Daredevils Take Plunge Off Wit Hotel For Charity

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Participants rappel down the side of the Wit Hotel as part of a charity event for the Respiratory Health Association. (Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Participants rappel down the side of the Wit Hotel as part of a charity event for the Respiratory Health Association. (Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 130 daring men and women scaled the Wit Hotel over the weekend in the name of respiratory health.

Suspended 278 feet above the intersection of State and Lake streets, participants stepped over the edge to raise awareness and funds for lung disease.

“It’s scary, but I wanted to conquer my fears,” said Lauren Laviola, who was rappelling for the second time.

Her father died of lung cancer two years ago.

“He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in July 2009, and passed August 29th,” she said.

“I’m afraid of heights and figured if he can face a fear, I can face a fear, so I signed up.”

PHOTOS: Participants Take Plunge Off Wit Hotel

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Many of the participants in this year’s Skyline Plunge for Respiratory Health conquer their fears and do it for someone they love.

“There’s a reason to do it, so it makes you feel OK. You have to be involved in this. It’s a fun way to raise money for something’s that’s important to a lot of people,” Laviola said.

For Lauren, it was an emotional experience. She knows her father is watching over her.

“He would think I’m insane and tell me not to do it, absolutely, 100 percent. I did it for him.”

The third annual Skyline Plunge raised more than $160,000 for the Respiratory Health Association.

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