Stop in to Trader Joe's on Friday afternoon to cheer on your local firefighters who are climbing great heights for a very worthy cause.
The West Pierce Firefighters Stair Climb team will be in the store from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and will be taking turns climbing a stair stepper in full fire fighting combat gear. They are preparing for the 22nd annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This year, the team has a special connection to the fundraiser: Cole Vukich. He is the 6-year-old son of West Pierce Fire & Rescue firefighter Steve Vukich and his wife Brooke. Cole was diagnosed at 2 years old with Biphenotypic Acute Leukemia (both AML & ALL). He has been chosen as the 2013 Scott Firefighter Stairclimb Honoree!
Cole is currently receiving high-risk treatments including intrathecal lumbar punctures (where chemo is injected into the spinal fluid), IV drip chemo infusions, bone marrow aspirations, blood transfusions and surgery for port placement. He takes between one and nine chemo pills daily, all to keep the cancer from returning.
The 6-year-old has been in remission for a year and a half and has 7 months of chemotherapy left to go. This makes him one of Mary Bridge's longest on-treatment pediatric cancer patients. When Cole is done, he will have been on treatments for 3 years and 10 months.
The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb
At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia Center (formerly Bank of America Tower) in downtown Seattle stands as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to reach the highly acclaimed observation deck overlooking the city.
The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb supports the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fundraising, and entry fees. In 2012, the event featured 1,550 firefighters from 291 different departments and brought in a record $1.2 million for blood-cancer research and patient services.
West Pierce Fire and Rescue currently holds the 10th spot in the regional fundraising battle. The department has surpassed their $10,000 goal and have raised $10,458, as of publication.
Support Cole, your fire department and Leukemia research by donating to the Stairclimb at Friday's event, or visit the West Pierce page of the fundraiser website.