RENO, Nev. --(KOLO) Before the crew heads to Seattle for a major competition, you're invited to rally and support by attending an upcoming fundraiser.
“It hits really close to home. We all have friends and family members that have been through leukemia, lymphoma, or some type of blood cancer," firefighter Kevin May explains.
“One of our climbers, his dad actually passed away from leukemia and we have somebody on our team whose dad is currently fighting leukemia,” firefighter Aaron Leising adds.
May and Leising are firefighters with the East Fork Fire Protection District. Since 2013, they've sent a crew to Seattle for the Stairmaster competition, which raises funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This crew has donated more than $50,000 so far, as Leising details, “We climb 69 flights of stairs in full gear, so weighing about 60 pounds and on average it takes us about 25 minutes to get to the top.”
There's not any tall buildings in Minden that mimic Seattle so the more than a dozen team members train using stair masters, weighted vests and other techniques.
“Firefighters, we don't just help people when we're on duty, we make it a huge goal of ours to help people off duty and so fundraising is just a great way for us to do that,” Leising says.
Leukemia and Lymphoma are two types of blood cancers, many say lymphoma is slightly more prevalent.
Before the big trip in March, the team is holding a fundraiser in Gardnerville at Big Daddy’s Bike, Ski & Board.
“Keith is the owner of Big Daddy's Bike and Brew, and his wife Monica has leukemia. She was diagnosed two years ago and we are happy to say she's in remission now,” Leising tells KOLO 8.
“It doesn't matter if people can't make it down to Gardnerville or Minden, all of the money goes to the same place and we just want to represent Northern Nevada as best we can,” May adds.
The mission…should you choose to support is to climb, conquer and find a cure.
Before the Seattle trip, you're invited to the Project Stairmaster fundraiser on Friday February 7th at Big Daddy's Bike & Brew in Garnderville. It runs all day from 9am to 9pm and every dollar from the raffles and food and drink sales will help the cause to cure Lymphoma and Leukemia.
There's a fundraising goal of $25,000. If you like to donate click here
To connect with the firefighters, visit their Facebook page, by clicking this link
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