St Arnaud Fire Brigade Lieutenant David Reynolds is preparing to join nearly 600 firefighters from across Australia and New Zealand on a 1504-stair climb up Sydney’s tallest building in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.
The firefighters will climb all 98 floors of the Sydney Tower Eye on Saturday, October 20 wearing full firefighting gear weighing more than 20 kilograms.
Partnering with Macquarie University, firefighters are raising much-needed funds to support MND research, fighting a disease with no known cause or cure.
“It is only through the support of the community and fundraising events like the Firefighters Climb that we are able to continue our fight against this disease,” Macquarie University professor Dominic Rowe said.
“Every donation is important and enables us to expand our research programs and clinical trials.”
The climb is now in its fourth year and has raised more than $1.5 million since 2015.
Lieutenant Reynolds said he wanted to join fellow firefighters to raise community awareness of the disease.
“Every day three people in Australia die from this devastating disease. Another 800 Australians will be diagnosed with MND this year, so research is urgently needed to help find answers,” he said.
Lieutenant Reynolds has been personally affected by the disease, with his aunt passing away in her fight with it.
“I saw a real vibrant lady deteriorate and get taken by this hideous disease,” he said.
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Lieutenant Reynolds has participated in stair climbs “on and off for 15 years”, with this his second climb at Sydney.
“I do the Melbourne firefighter climb each year, but this one is quite special for me with its connection to MND,” he said.
“Our challenge is a hard one, but it’s nothing compared to what people with MND go through every day.”
Donations to the Lieutenant Reynolds’ climb can be made here.