BC firefighters put legs and lungs to the test for cause close to home

On Sunday morning, February 23, 2020, more than 200 BC firefighters will be taking the long way up all 48 storeys to the top of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre in support of the 1 in 5 British Columbians affected by a lung or breathing condition.

That's no easy feat when you consider participating firefighters make the climb carrying more than 75lbs of protective firefighting gear on their backs!  

Held annually for the past 19 years, the BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall event fundraiser helps funds vital lung patient support programs, research and advocacy initiatives. 

Stair climbing alongside BC firefighters will also be a large contingent of family, friends and lung healthcare professionals climbing in tribute to patients and loved ones affected by respiratory illness.

“Climb the Wall is one of few events that brings BC’s firefighting community together with the public to help give those affected by lung disease hope, help and a voice. And beyond being a meaningful way to spend a Sunday - it's a lot of fun. Many participants bring their kids along with them. There's always lots to see, and a ton of positive energy,” said Tom DeSorcy, BC Lung Association Vice-Chair and Hope Fire Chief.

“Flames. Heat. Smoke and toxic fumes. Firefighters find themselves routinely at risk of exposure to harmful air pollutants. Other than those who live with a respiratory illness, few understand better how important it is to take preventive measures to safeguard our lung health and clean air,” he continued. 

“The BC Lung Association is extraordinarily grateful to BC’s firefighting community for its ongoing commitment to the event, and to the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel, who generously host and provide brunch every year,” added DeSorcy who himself fundraises and participates with his team of Hope Firefighters each year. 

Since the event began, Climb the Wall participants have raised two million dollars in support much-needed patient and caregiver support programs, lung health and air quality research and advocacy across the province. 

This year organizers anticipate 400+ climbers, of which half will be firefighters who compete annually for fastest stair climb time in full firefighter protective gear (a whopping 75lbs worth).

To participate, non-firefighter Climbers pay a $25 registration fee and commit to fundraising a minimum of $125.  In return, every Climber receives a limited edition 2020 Climb the Wall t-shirt, brunch compliments of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel and front row seats to some unique Sunday morning fun.  

To make a donation - or for more info and to sign up - visit www.stairclimb.ca

About the BC Lung Association

Providing hope, help, and a voice for the 1 in 5

First established a century ago to help fight TB, the BC Lung Association was amongst the first to tackle smoking, and make the connection between air pollution and lung health. Today we continue the fight. We support patients and caregivers, fund vital lung health initiatives, educate British Columbians on safeguarding their lung health, and fight for policies that protect clean air.

One in five British Columbians are affected by a lung or breathing condition:

  • Asthma affects about 10% of children and adults.
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) makes breathing difficult for another 6% of people aged 45 or older. 
  • Sleep Apnea affects quality of life and increases risk of serious chronic disease in another 2 to 4% of Canadians.
  • Thousands are diagnosed every year with deadly Lung Cancer.
  • Hundreds more are afflicted by Pulmonary Fibrosis (or other debilitating forms of interstitial Lung Disease)
  • And let’s not overlook the thousands impacted by infectious diseases such as influenza and Pneumonia or worse — increasingly antibiotic-resistant Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria.
  • Add to that those born with the genetic, life-shortening condition Cystic Fibrosis. 
  • Finally, consider air pollution and its negative impact on everyone’s health
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Page Last Updated: 14/01/2020