Every year firefighters from around the country, and even some from other countries, compete in a grueling stair climb up the tallest building in Seattle, Washington to raise money to help find a cure for leukemia. Each year they raise millions of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

You can see another post about the Stair Climb here.

Here’s a few shots from the event:

Firefighter gear Checking firefighter's boots
checking boot with magnet Scottish Band
Firefighter starts his timer and the race begins! Tired firefighter completes his climb to the top
150 volunteers work hard to make the Scott Firefighter Climb a success. View from the top of the Seattle Columbia Center building.
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[Editor’s note: In March 2015 I was privileged to watch this event as a member of the media.]

Firefighters wait to begin their race to the top of the Columbia Tower.

In March of 2015 over 1900 firefighters rushed up Seattle’s tallest building.

There was no fire. Except perhaps in the hearts of the men and women who each year don full gear weighing 80 lbs and race up 69 floors, that’s 1,311 steps, raising millions of dollars to fight leukemia.

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, the world’s largest firefighter competition, is held each year at the Columbia Center building in Seattle, Washington. Known locally as the Columbia Tower, it stands 943 feet. It is the tallest building in Seattle and the second tallest on the west coast.

Many of the climbers carry photos on their helmets with the names of loved ones and friends. Some are of people fighting, even beating, the disease. Others read “in memory of…”Billings, Montana Firefighter team at the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle

“Our tallest building is only 23 stories so we can’t even really train for this”, said Chris Voller, a member of a firefighter team from Billings, Montana. “We’re climbing for Avery [last name withheld].  She’s back in Billings cheering us on. She’s on her third round of chemo now but she’s out ‘til probably April. She is following the posts showing the times (our team makes) and we send her pictures all the time.

Firefighters raise money for special girl with CLL and wear photos of her on their helmets.“That’s her on our helmets. She’s a little cadet of ours. We adopted her as our junior cadet and got her a stuffed ‘fire rabbit’ with a fire uniform on it. She’s lovin’ it.”

”I’m climbing for Breonia,” said firefighter Kelly Smith. This is my 8th year racing for her.” According to Smith Breonia’s family came every year to watch Kelly race until their daughter died a few years ago at age 13.Firefighter Kelly Smith at the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle

This writer's son, Guy Smith, waits for his turn to climb the tower.The climb raises millions of dollars each year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But beyond the money, the event has a special place in this writer’s heart. My own son, Guy, has done the climb for the last three years. He says he is climbing the tower for me.

There’s more stories to tell about the brave men and women who save lives every day and one day each year fight to beat leukemia.

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I’ve updated my Score Card page. The most current lab test showed a slight increase. I am slowly creeping up in numbers but still doing okay according to my doctor.

My White Blood Cell and Lymphocyte counts continue their slow rise. But my Red Blood Cell count stays steady.

(You can click the chart image below to get a larger view.)

Blood test results

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They came and took her away yesterday. (See my previous post about how our sailboat got trashed.) We had many adventures in Puget Sound and she always got us home safely. Sucia, Patos, San Juan, and Stuart islands were our favorite spots. Our son even sailed with his wife and two year old son on the Canadian side to visit Pender Island.

Fargone was a Lancer 25 sailboat. It was 25 feet long with an 8 foot beam and had a fixed weighted keel. She was a steady, solid boat and a good friend.

You served us well girl. Thanks for the memories.

Here’s photos of how they managed to pick her up and haul her away:
BoatBye1_300 BoatBye2_300
BoatBye3_300 BoatBye4_300
BoatBye5_300 BoatBye6_300
BoatBye7_300 BoatBye8_300
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Some of you may have read my posts on sailing, such as this, and this, and this. Well, a March wind has stopped all that. My poor little sailboat is no more.

We had 8 trees fall in a 67mph wind and one of them took her out. There is a certain irony in all this… the name of our boat was Fargone. Now it truly is Far Gone.

She was a good boat. It’s like losing a best friend. The good news is we had insurance. The bads new is she was totaled. I’ll miss her.

But… we hope to find another boat soon. It will have to be a fixer-upper because cash is tight. But I’ll be back out on the salt water soon.

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