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69 flights of stairs won’t stop leukemia survivor

CKFR volunteer firefighter Adam Knudsen in uniform. - Courtesy photo
CKFR volunteer firefighter Adam Knudsen in uniform.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

“Surviving leukemia doesn’t neccessarily mean you have limitations.”

To prove that point, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue volunteer firefighter and leukemia survivor Adam Knudsen is joining 15 CKFR career firefighters in tomorrow’s Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle.

The event — which is the largest individual firefighting competition in the world — is an annual fund-raiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money for blood cancer research and patient services programs.

“The second I heard about it, I wanted to do it,” Knudsen said of the event. “I just want to do it and prove that leukemia doesn’t set limitations.”

In a timed race to the top of the Columbia Center (formerly the Bank of America Tower) with a vertical elevation of 788 feet, participants must climb 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to reach the observation deck overlooking Seattle which will double as the “finish line.”

Participants wear full bunker gear as well as their self-contained breathing apparatus. Racing up the steps with a breathing mask on their face, they will be carrying about 75 extra pounds.

Along with Knudsen, those representing CKFR this year are firefighters/EMTs Charlie Bratcher, Ryan Crosby, Joshua Materi, Beau Marshall, Jason Reed, Brad Shearer, Greg Snyder, Tony Giove (team captain), Brock Shaffer and Lt. Brett Twomey; firefighters/paramedics Dennis Elliot, Jeff Sorenson, Trevor Stanley; and probationary firefighters/EMTs Amanda Rohr and Brian Moore.

Last year more than 900 firefighters from surrounding states as well as Canada and New Zealand participated in the event raising more than $215,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

For Knudsen, it’s a cause that he is all too familiar with. He was 8 years old when

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