February 19, 2014 | Vol.54 N.8

Local firefighter raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

One Lake Stevens Firefighter has a passion for helping others which is evident in her choice of career. That passion is also coming out in her efforts to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by participating in the annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb at the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle on March 9.

Rochelle Cristine and her stair climbing team hosted a fundraiser at Haggen Food & Drug on Saturday, Feb. 1 where they walked on a stairclimber for 12 straight hours to prepare for the 69 flights of stairs in the Columbia Tower.

In case you're wondering that is equal to 788 feet of vertical elevation and 1,311 steps.

Last year Cristine ranked fifth place for the women who participated.

Her time was 17:16 and she beat all of the men on her team.

Why would anyone, even a firefighter, want to climb almost 70 flights of stairs in full gear? Cristine says that it brings three of her "loves" together in one event.

"Sharing my love for fitness, firefighting, and giving back," she said. "This event is a huge highlight for me. I love the physical challenge of not only racing up the tower but performing the climb in full bunker gear while on air. Definitely not an easy task, yet pales in comparison to what the blood cancer patients must go through. Us firefighters are racing in their honor for LLS, fighting for a cure. Last year was my first year doing the event. It was amazing! The energy from the group is so powerful!" 

Cristine became a part-time firefighter with Lake Stevens in 2012 after completing the Fire Academy at Everett Community College. She is one of three women at LSFD.

Lake Stevens Fire actually has 10 other firefighters participating in this event this year they include Captain Travis Welch, Jerry Aamold, Jesse Abercrombie, Chad Andrews, Cody Chester, Tyler Compton, Beau France, Garth Lervold III, Shane Nelson and Captain Ron Rasmussen.

The team is continuing to raise funds and would like your help if you can.

"Our fundraising efforts are supporting research for Leukemia and Lymphoma towards their mission to find a cure. While they are making great strides with better survival rates and improving quality of life for patients and their families, there's still lots to be done," Cristine said. "I have two big goals this year. This year I hope to place top three in both female race results and individual fundraising. I just passed last year's fundraising ($3,500) and I am not slowing down. Hoping to raise a total of $15,000 with the help of friends, family and the community."

If you would like to help you can log onto the team's fundraising site at llswa.convio.net/site/TR/Events/FirefighterStairclimb?pg=team&fr_id=1350&team_id=54897 or Cristine's personal site at tinyurl.com/n7bvfot.

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