A Chugiak volunteer firefighter is gearing up to climb 1,356 steps in the Columbia Center, Seattle's tallest building, in her 60 pounds of gear for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Firefighter Stair Climb.
Firefighter Melissa Cunniff is doing it to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
But it's about more than that for Cunniff. Her aunt died of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
She said it's humbling to have the chance to do the climb.
"Leukemia and lymphoma, as well as all other cancers, touch so many people's lives," she said. "Everyone knows somebody, so to have a personal connection to it makes it that much more special."
Cunniff will be climbing the 69 stories in March with 2,000 other firefighters. They will be climbing wearing their full gear and while on-air.
"You have to be in full gear to start. You can take off your gloves though, which is really helpful because it gets really, really hot," she said.