A GROUP of local volunteer firefighters are putting in the hard yards to raise money for a very worthwhile cause.
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Firefighters from Medowie and Raymond Terrace Rural Fire Brigades will be taking on the 1504 steps located inside the Sydney Tower Eye to raise funds for and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease on 20 October.
To put the climb into perspective, the 1504 steps equate to 98 storeys or a vertical distance of 820 feet.
If that doesn’t sound difficult enough, the firefighters will also be carrying an extra 24kg on their shoulders.
And just to make sure each climber doesn’t change their mind halfway up, there is no turning back once you go through the fire door on the ground floor.
But this is all for a great cause.
Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive, terminal neurological disease that can strike anyone.
At this time, there is no known cure or effective treatment with two people dying of this debilitating disease each day in Australia.
Motor Neurone Disease is cruel in nature with a progressive loss of the use of limbs and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe, while the mind and senses usually remain intact.
The firefighters climb helps raise much needed funds to help find the elusive cure.
Macquarie University houses Australia’s largest Motor Neurone Disease research facility that employs over 70 researchers and 12 clinicians all working towards finding this cure.
The local contingent have started putting in the hours, training the house down every weekend as a team in order to be ready once climb day comes around.
“It’s wonderful the support we are receiving from the community for our committed firefighters from Lower Hunter RFS including the 9 from Medowie,” Lower Hunter RFS Climbers Team Leader Louise McClelland told News Of The Area.
“We’re hoping to raise all that we can to assist funding for research into a cure for this devastating disease.”
Medowie Brigade member Alice Lavender told News Of The Area, “For me I’d say that although it may feel like a struggle climbing those stairs, I’m motivated by the courage MND sufferers show every day and that’s what drives me to raise more money and train harder.”
Another Medowie Brigade member, Kyra McGrorey-Clark, is appreciating another aspect of the climb.
“It’s really great getting to know other people from other brigades off the fire ground while we train, building friendships and being active without the looming threat of an emergency situation,” Kyra told News Of The Area.
The group will be ‘Shaking buckets’ at the front fence of Medowie public school on August 17 in the morning and afternoon as well as holding other collection days before the climb in Sydney.
Stayed tuned on Medowie’s Rural Fire Brigade Facebook page for announcements on where you can catch the Firefighter climbers to donate to the cause.
By Rachael VAUGHAN