Six Aberdeen fire fighters will climb more than 1500 steps to raise funds for motor neurone disease research

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Ryan King (top left), Riley Burgin (top right),Kane Dennis, Kane Duggan and Sid Bailey (front L-R) are training to climb the Sydeny Tower. Absent: Matt Thompson. Photo: Fire and Rescue NSW Station 208 Aberdeen
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Ryan King (top left), Riley Burgin (top right),Kane Dennis, Kane Duggan and Sid Bailey (front L-R) are training to climb the Sydeny Tower. Absent: Matt Thompson. Photo: Fire and Rescue NSW Station 208 Aberdeen

TACKLING the gruelling 98 storeys, or 1504 stairs, of the Sydney Tower Eye wearing full structural fire fighting ensemble with a combined weight of over 20 kilograms may seem hard, but it’s nothing compared to the struggle of someone with motor neurone disease (MND).

That’s according to Aberdeen fire fighter Kane Dennis who will be part of a team of six at Fire and Rescue NSW’s 208 Aberdeen Station up to the challenge this October.

The group have been putting in the hard yards, training three times a week, and have set up a fundraising page with a target of $10,000 ahead of the climb.

So far they’ve raised more than $1,300 with all funds going towards Australia’s largest MND research facility, Macquarie University (Health), who are working to fight the disease.

“There’s currently a lack of funding for MND,” Dennis explained. 

“The climb stimulates the sort of struggle that someone suffering MND would go through every day.

“MND restricts movement and is ultimately a life-threatening disease.”

It’s set to be a harrowing climb, but one that has so far raised $1,300,000 for MND research since the event began in 2015 through the help of fire fighters across the country.

“Training has included cardio and squats but we’ve also been running around Aberdeen wearing our full structural fire fighting ensemble including helmets, breathing gear and boots once a week,” Dennis said.

“So we’ve had a few funny looks.”

The team are hoping to gain the support of local businesses and the community to help them make it to the top on October 20.

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