Former resident supporting firefighters, community members fighting cancer
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout native Kitrina Jacobson is putting herself to the test, to support those who are living with cancer, by participating in the 6th Annual Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge in support of Wellspring Calgary on May 3.
According to calgarystairclimb.com, “Every year, hundreds of firefighters from around the world climb the stairs of Calgary’s BOW tower, one of Western Canada’s tallest buildings, in support of firefighters and community members living with cancer. Brave participants start their challenge at 3400 feet above sea level and climb the 775 vertical feet – 1204 steps or 55 floors – of the tower in full duty gear. At a total of 4175 vertical feet, the Calgary, Alberta event is the highest elevation firefighter stairclimb in the world!”
“Wellspring Calgary is a warm and welcoming community that provides a comprehensive range of support, resources and programs to those living with cancer and their caregivers… Cancer is a prevalent occupational hazard of the firefighter’s job. Proceeds from this event ensure Wellspring Calgary can provide supportive care to firefighters and citizens living with cancer,” the website reads.
Jacobson was born and raised in Sioux Lookout and moved to Atikokan in 2011, where she works as a bylaw enforcement officer while also enjoying her role as a volunteer firefighter with Atikokan Fire Rescue. She’s been on the department as a volunteer since 2013, and she was the first female on the department. She said the stairclimb challenge is a first for her, but she’s already started training for the event.
“This is a first for me for this kind of challenge. I just wanted to see if I could do anything to make a difference. A couple years ago I registered to donate stem cells, and I try to donate blood as much as I possibly can… I figured with this I could help someone help a family with raising money. I know this stair climb is going to be tough, but it’ll be a grain of salt compared to what these people with cancer face,” said Jacobson.
“I’ve started some endurance training and cardio right now. There’s not really anywhere here for that many flights of stairs, so I kind of have to improvise,” she said.
Jacobson said her goal is to raise $5000, and she’s currently raised just over $500. To contribute to her fundraising goal, go to wsyyc.convio.net/site/TR/Climb/General?px=1029102&pg=personal&fr_id=1061.