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Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge Raises Funds & Awareness for Cystic Fibrosis

Posted: September 23rd, 2010 1:55 PM

On Sunday, September 26th, firefighters from around the Pacific Northwest, including several from Portland Fire & Rescue, will trade stair-steppers for the real steps of the US Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland for the 2nd Annual Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation.

Wes Loucks, a retired Portland Fire & Rescue Firefighter of 32 years, and his wife Belinda founded the Portland Firefighter Stairclimb when both of their young grandsons were born with CF.

The Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge is sponsored by Leatherman, Portland Fire Fighters Association Local 43, and the International Association of Fire Fighters and attracts firefighters to Portland from as far away as Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

In addition to a competitive 40 floor, 800 step ascent of the US Bancorp Tower, firefighters will also compete to raise funds in the battle against CF. In 2009, over 233 firefighters representing 56 fire agencies finished the Portland climb and raised over $52,000 for CF research.  

Firefighters will be outfitted in over 70 lbs. each of full "combat gear" including Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) commonly used in the line of duty. Racers will vie for men's and women's titles in individual competition. Team titles are also awarded based on the combined time of the team's fastest racers.

More than 30,000 children in American have CF, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Although the Portland Firefighter Stairclimb is open only to firefighters, the public can help through donations. Visit https://www.cff.org/Chapters/oregon/EventDonation/index.cfm?idEvent=13658 to make a donation that will support the mission of the CF Foundation and help keep pace with current commitments to vital cystic fibrosis research and care.


Contact Info: PIO Paul Corah, (503) 940-6003