Treasure Valley firefighters help fight blood cancer one step at a time

It will not be an easy feat, but firefighters are used to doing whatever it takes to save lives (Abigail Taylor, KBOI)

Firefighters in the Treasure Valley are going to great heights to help find a cure for blood cancer.

Dozens of firefighters from Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Meridian, and Eagle will be making the trek up 69 flights of stairs on Sunday to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

They'll be joined by more than 2,000 firefighters from around the globe.

It's all part of the 2018 Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle's Columbia Tower. It's the largest on-air stair climb competition in the world.

The firefighters will be wearing their full uniform — air pack, turnout gear, helmet and all — for the entire climb. In total, their gear weighs more than 50-pounds!

It will not be an easy feat, but firefighters are used to doing whatever it takes to save lives.

"That's one of the things that we firefighters talk about," said Rich Brown, Firefighter for Boise FD and Lead Ambassador for the Stairclimb. "It's a stair climb. It's going to hurt terribly bad, but it's not going to be anything compared to what blood cancer patients are going through."

For Rich, raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma is close to his heart. He knows several people who have battled the disease, including his good friend Jason Werst who died from AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) just one year after Rich first did the climb in 2010.

"He ended up having three battles with AML and ended up passing away in 2011," said Rich. "That was a bit of a light switch moment for me. I had done this climb the year before and he was alive and doing well. When he got sick I just decided this is something I can do. I cannot save his life, but I can fundraise in his name."

Photos of men, women and children who have battled Leukemia and Lymphoma, friends and family members of the firefighters, will cover the stairwell as they make the climb. So, every step of the way, they will remember who they are doing it for.

If you would like to help our local firefighters on their mission to help cure blood cancer you can do so by going to the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb website and hitting the DONATE NOW button.

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