Jim MacDonald's 2020 (Virtual) Big Climb Page
Hello! I will be participating in the (virtual) Big Climb Seattle on Saturday, June 13th. Please support me with a donation by clicking the 'donate now' button above this text. Our efforts will help make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers.
Why does Jim participate in the Big Climb?
Typically, Big Climb entails climbing 69 flights of stairs in Seattle's tallest skyscraper. As a result of SARS-CoV-2 though, the 2020 Big Climb has been delayed since March and will now be conducted virtually. I will miss the energy of the event and the impact and motivation of the family remembrance posters in the stairwells of the Columbia Center (note: I will not miss the hot air in the stairwells!). However, I still plan to climb the same number of stairs (1,311) in fresh air near Olympic National Park because, although the Big Climb will be virtual this year, cancer has not taken a break and patients need our support more than ever. In fact, patients are not only fighting cancer this year, but also facing increased risks from SARS-CoV-2 due to compromised immune systems from the very therapies needed to treat their cancers.
As many of you know, I lost my father to cancer in 2013 and that led to me thinking about ways to contribute to the fight against cancer. About a year later, I began working at a biotech startup in Seattle developing immunotherapies for blood cancer patients and continued to do that until about 2 years ago. Over the last two years, I helped start another Seattle biotech company developing cell and gene therapies for a number of different types of patients, including cancer patients. The incredible patient stories along the way (including those of my work colleagues) resulted in me wanting to become even more involved, and about 3 years ago I joined the board of trustees of the Washington & Alaska chapter of LLS to help further the cause. So much more needs to be done in the fight against cancer.
What is the Big Climb in non-coronavirus years?
The Big Climb is a stairclimb up the Columbia Center - the tallest skyscraper in downtown Seattle. There are 69 floors of stairs, 1311 steps, and 788 feet of vertical elevation. Although it will be challenging, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients go through. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Who is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Every day, more than 347 LLS sponsored researchers come closer to the goal of finding a cure for leukemia and related blood cancers. Locally, LLS funds 10 researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington Medical Center. Your support and commitment to the mission of LLS enables us to continue this important work of saving lives and aids us in our ability to reach patients in our community.
Thank you for your time and I hope that you will consider donating to this cause!
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