LLS Seattle Big Climb

Check Out Our Sister Event

LLS Scott FF Climb

Meet our Honorees

In Honor of Colton Matter

Colton Matter

Colton Matter is 13 years old and has been fighting high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since he was 9. The first year he was diagnosed he was asked to be an honoree at the Scott Firefighter Climb for our local fire department and that introduced us to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and this thing called “The Big Climb”. Since that amazing introduction, Colton has fought this same cancer 4 times with his most recent fight being NOW…..he has endured 2 lifesaving bone marrow transplants and 1 stem cell transplant to kick this cancer and has been blessed with months of remission in between each one, but we learned in July (2013) that his cancer was back.

Having already received 3 lifesaving transplants, we knew his options for a cure were running thin. Our prayers over the past 4 years have been for a cure. With each transplant, Colton was blessed with the gift of remission, we prayed that IF his cancer came back it would be when a cure had been found and that all of the treatments he had endured would have bought him enough time to get him to the cure. That is still our prayer today.

Colton's Army has proudly supported LLS since the beginning of Colton's battle and we firmly believe that the money we raise go to the type of research that will help fund a cure…someday. Well, that someday we pray is today for Colton. One the same day that Colton was having his T-cells apheresis'd in Philadelphia at CHOP, a friend of ours who works for LLS was attending a meeting at their headquarters in New York ---- learning about the new research that LLS is funding. Goosebumps formed on her arms when she heard that Dr. Grupp's T-cell therapy was one of the trials that was being supporting by LLS --- yes, the same study that Colton will be participating in.

Colton's Army has proudly worn ORANGE to help raise awareness - orange is the color of Leukemia and now has become one of Colton's favorite colors as well. We have participated in the ‘Big Climb’ for the past 4 years and ‘Light the Night’ as well. Our teams have raised over $100,000 through donations from believers who like us, believe there will be a cure someday soon.

In Honor of Colin Craig

Colin Craig

Colin Craig is a Seattle native who has been practicing dentistry in the Seattle area for 39 years. In February of 2013, at the age of 64, Colin was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, an indolent form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Colin finds it ironic that in 2010, as a member of Team in Training, he participated in “America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride” around Lake Tahoe. At that time, he had no idea that the money he raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would be benefiting him in three years.

Faced with choosing from several initial treatment options, Colin was encouraged when he learned that he might qualify for a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Clinical Trial. The trial involved the combination of two cancer fighting drugs. The first drug was a proven cancer cell targeting drug. The second drug was new to the treatment of Follicular Lymphoma. The goal of the trial was to prove that the combination of these two drugs would be the best initial treatment for Follicular Lymphoma.

Colin was accepted into the clinical trial in late February 2013. He was very excited to have received the trial arm of the study. In May 2013, at the end of three treatment cycles, he had achieved the protocol goal for remission. In August 2013, after the completion of six cycles, he was classified as “in remission”. He now remains on maintenance therapy. Throughout the entire treatment cycle of the clinical trial, he was able to continue working and maintain a reasonably normal lifestyle without experiencing the many side effects of traditional initial therapy.

Colin, his wife Leah, and their family are grateful that he is able to benefit from the ongoing research into blood cancers. Through their participation in the Big Climb, others will continue to benefit from future advances in blood cancer research.


In Honor of Lynette Johnson

Lynette JohnsonLynette has loved being a photographer in Seattle for about 26 years, working mainly with families and brides.  She has a kind and patient husband, Doug, who has stood calmly by her side and two beautiful daughters who inspired her to become a photogapher.  She loved recording them, and that lead to others requesting her services. 

Lynette founded a small non-profit, Soulumination, in 2005.  Soulumination offers photos free of charge for families whose children are facing life threatening illnesses, and to adults at end of life who are leaving behind children between birth and 18.  After working for seven years as the founding director, she was shocked and devastated to find that she was facing her own battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Lynette is a healthy, active, and feisty woman who has never been ill.  The effects of her chemo were truly horrifying and she leaned on many to help her through. In her picture, Lynette is in costume, since she dressed regularly as super heroes during her treatment, as she needed some levity badly.  The kindness of the staff at SCCA, the support and care of her family, friends, and clients was stellar.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society stepped forward to offer support and guidance.  Lynette loved getting to talk with a LLS mentor about chemo, and with Anne Gillingham about the ways to navigate this treatment. She lives with the knowledge that her cancer will emerge again in the future. 

This Big Climb will be Lynette’s very first try at anything like this, as she has never done a walk, run, or stair climb.  But she will do so and hope to climb as one of the first, and then wait until the end of the day and climb it last.  Lynette climbs in hopes of better treatment for herself in the future, but also in memory of Evan, Austen, and Kenny, friends that she has lost to blood cancers since her own diagnosis.  

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


Share Your Story

The Big Climb is a favorite Seattle event and community fundraiser. We are very thankful for your support and are always interested to know why 6,000 people climb 69 flights of stairs! Is it your connection to the mission? A pure physical challenge? Or simply a way to stay active, while applying your efforts to a greater cause?
Share your story with us! We'd love to hear why you've chosen to climb.

Request a Dedication

Climbing in honor or in memory of someone? Be sure to request a dedication sign. Fill out this form by March 1st and a poster of the person you are honoring or remembering will be placed in the stairwells on event day.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) mission is to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The LLS is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $600 million for research specifically targeting Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma.