FIREFIGHTER WITH LEUKEMIA CLIMBS SKYSCRAPER FOR CHARITY
69 Flights I 1,356 Steps I 788 Ft. Vertical Elevation
The Day of My Diagnosis:
It was December of 2016 and I was installing shelves in the nursery when I got the call. The Doctor told me my white blood cell count was off and that I needed to go to the ER immediately. It’s crazy how fast things can change.
I remember calmly sitting next to my distraught wife as we waited for the test results. Then came the news. It’s definitely Leukemia, they’re just not sure what type. She was 7 months pregnant at the time and she was inconsolable.
“How did this happen? I’m young, I’m healthy.” I thought. I kept physically fit, ate well, and exercised not just for me, but so I could provide high levels of service for my community while at the Fire Department. I remember the initial oncologist in the hospital said it was simply, “bad luck” when I asked how I got it. When we left the hospital we were hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
The Magic Pill:
My official diagnosis: CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia). It was during the following weeks that we learned what the treatment for CML was. A “magic pill” called Gleevec (imatinib) would supposedly reverse the mutation and make me “normal” again. Well almost normal...the side effects are another conversation altogether.
Yet, although it isn't a full-on "cure" it's pretty close - close enough to allow me to keep living my life. This pill has given me more time with my amazing wife and son. This pill has allowed me to continue serving my community.
Along with the magic pill, I was introduced to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that not only provides a wealth of information, it is this society that goes to bat for people like me to get these kinds of pills and treatments accessible (and affordable).
Climb. Conquer. Cure.
When I learned of the LLS Firefighter Stair-climb in support of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I was 100% on board - this is a platform for me to raise awareness and funds for the Society. You need to know that I consider myself one of the "lucky ones" - there are others out there that can't just take a "magic pill". There are different forms of Leukemia and Lymphoma and they need all the help they can get. I have friends and acquaintances that have a much harder road to endure. ANY amount of funding will get them one step closer to their magic pill.
On Sunday, March 10th, I will be participating in the 28th annual LLS Firefighter Stair-climb in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Before I ascend the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, WA, I will be raising funds throughout the season in the name of funding and finding a cure. Please consider making a donation to not only help me achieve my personal fundraising goal, but to benefit patients and their families everywhere.
What is the LLS Firefighter Stair-climb?
The LLS Firefighter Stair-climb is the world's largest on-air stair climb competition, and annual fundraiser held at the tallest building in town, the Columbia Center. All 2,000 participants are career or volunteer firefighters who will climb up the second tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi in full turnout gear, weighing over 50 pounds, while on-air. Throughout the 69 flights of stairs, 1,356 steps, and 788 ft. of vertical elevation gain, we all remember that every step forward is representative of moving closer to a cure - a "magic pill". Although this is an extreme test of physical endurance, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients endure. All proceeds raised directly benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and since its inception in 1991, this event has raised over $17 million thus far.
Thank you for your time, consideration, and sincere generosity. We climb because beating cancer is in our blood.
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