Welcome to My Personal Page
69 Flights I 1,356 Steps I 788 Ft. Vertical Elevation
Climb. Conquer. Cure
Most of you reading this letter know me personally, but for those who don’t - I am Zach Emerson, a Boise Firefighter of 14 years. This year I am again training to participate in the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb on (Sunday, March 8th 2020.) This is my 7th year stepping up to the Stairclimb challenge. Last year the event raised a record $2.9 million dollars for the LLS. Over $92,000 of that was raised by Boise Local 149 and our 40 plus participants.
Many of you have heard my stories of Caitlin, Dylan and our neighbor and fire family member Max. This year I was blessed to meet and hunt with a young man from Tennessee, CJ. CJ was diagnosed with ALL T-Cell Leukemia at the age of 11 and is still fighting through the treatment protocol at 17. Despite needing an interpreter for his Southern Drawl I quickly came to the conclusion that CJ is one of the most respectful and well spoken young men I have ever been around. I have no doubt that CJ was sent to our camp for two reasons:
1) To reaffirm that we are on the right track in fulfilling our ministry in a spectacularly unique way.
2) To illustrate in the most amazing way the daily struggles that these youth face.
On the first night of our camp, while sitting around the fire, CJ pulled out a bag of hand strung bead necklaces and began to tell his story. As he talked he pulled necklace after necklace out of this bag. Each necklace was around three feet long and strung with a variety of colored handmade beads. As CJ told his story he began to explain the significance of these Beads of Courage…each individual bead stands for a treatment, IV, Chemo, nights in the hospital, transfusion, central line, surgery, medical test, ER visit, etc. CJ, had nearly twenty necklaces worth of cancer treatment and all that goes with it, plus more beads that hadn’t been strung at home. As a handful of big strong firefighters stood around our manly hunting camp campfire, there wasn’t a dry eye on the mountain. Those beads weighed heavy on all of us as CJ became another member of our extended family. If that scene wasn’t emotional enough, a couple of days later CJ repeated it as we filmed him telling the story and hanging those necklaces on the horns of his monster trophy bull.
The Scott Stairclimb brings together firefighters and caring donors, who ultimately have an effect in the treatment process, bringing Dylan, Caitlin. CJ, Max and the faceless others from near death in a hospital to hiking and hunting or just enjoying more precious time with their families.
This annual event has gained national recognition over the past 29 years for two reasons:
1) All money raised supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world’s largest voluntary organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research.
2) The Seattle Stairclimb is considered one of the premier firefighter challenge events in the nation. Thousands of firefighters race 69 floors to the top of Seattle's Columbia Center in full turnout gear, while breathing air from a backpack carried self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The total weight of gear each firefighter carries is near 50 pounds
My personal goal is to raise a minimum of $1800, the amount needed to secure a spot for next year. The Boise Fire Department Team continues to be among the top fundraising teams for the event. Our team schedules numerous fundraising events over the next few months, from waiting tables at various restaurants to stairclimb challenges in front of Albertson’s on Super Bowl Weekend.
Those events alone won't be enough to reach our overall goal, so I'm asking for your help. With your help, our efforts will make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers.
To donate to my climb visit https://www.llswa.org/site/TR?fr_id=1620&pg=entry From there please click the big red DONATE button in the top right corner and search my name Zach Emerson.
Thank you for your generosity and remember every dollar counts when someone’s life depends on it!
Engine 14 A Shift
City of Boise Fire Department
What is the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb?
The LLS Firefighter Stairclimb 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, volunteer, or retired firefighters who will climb up the second tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi in full turnout gear, weighing over 60 pounds, while on-air. Throughout this grueling course, we all remember that every step forward is representative of moving closer to a cure. 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 $20 million thus far.
Thank you for your time, consideration, and sincere generosity in this cause worth climbing for.
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