Submitted by Orcas Island Fire and Rescue
Orcas Island Volunteer Firefighters are coming together to join thousands across the nation for a virtual climb this Saturday, June 13th. The firefighters were originally slated to participate in the 29th Annual Firefighter Stair Climb with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Seattle this March but were put on standby due to COVID-19.
With an estimated 1,345,123 people in the United States currently living with or in remission from leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma – this event raises over $3,000,000 each year for the fight against blood cancers, bringing firefighters from around the world to the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle where they climb a total of 69 flights ‘on air’ wearing full protective bunker gear.
“While the global pandemic might not allow us to be together to climb to the top of a skyscraper, it can’t stop us from climbing at home, in our stations, or our neighborhoods. It can’t stop us from becoming a force in the fight against cancer,” shares the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This year, Team Orcas is climbing in honor of our friend, Jim Helminski. Jim moved to Orcas with his wife Teresa after a successful career in federal law enforcement that culminated in the role of Chief Human Capital Officer and Deputy Assistant Director for the US Secret Service. He currently serves the community as a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners. Jim was diagnosed with leukemia last year and has just completed stem-cell transplant treatment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston.
To support the cause or learn more about the event, visit http://bit.ly/38vYtty.