‘Blood’ staff ready to race to the sky for a good cause

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

The blood ser­vice is en­ter­ing two teams of five with a com­bined goal of rais­ing $5000.

Last year’s cor­po­rate climb raised more than $63,000.

The stairs of the Sky Tower are only open for spe­cial events and at a reg­u­lar pace it takes about 24 min­utes to climb from the un­der­ground lev­els to the main ob­ser­va­tion level.

Mr Arthur en­tered the in­au­gu­ral event last year and clearly re­mem­bers the phys­i­cal strain of climb­ing 51 storeys.

‘‘It’s hard; it’s your lungs, your arms, your legs. And of course go­ing around and around in the same di­rec­tion,’’ he says.

‘‘To train we’ve been us­ing any stairs we can find, whether it be at work or at the hos­pi­tal, any­where.’’

Ge­orgie Hack­ett from Leukaemia and Blood Can­cer New Zealand says it’s good to see so many cor­po­rates get­ting to­gether for the cause.

‘‘It re­ally helps the six Ki­wis di­ag­nosed ev­ery day with blood can­cer or re­lated blood con­di­tions,’’ Ms Hack­ett says.

The pro­ceeds fund sup­port ser­vices to pa­tients and fam­i­lies, pro­duce in­for­ma­tion and fund re­search.

It costs $3000 a day to run the ser­vices.

‘‘And we re­cently gave the Univer­sity of Auck­land $1 mil­lion to fund a new cen­tre for re­search into blood can­cers,’’ Ms Hack­ett says.

Leukaemia and Blood Can­cer New Zealand re­ceives no money from the govern­ment and is com­pletely funded by do­na­tions, so events like Fri­day’s stair climb are im­per­a­tive for its sur­vival.

The cor­po­rate event will be fol­lowed by the eighth an­nual Fire­fighter Sky Tower Stair Chal­lenge on Satur­day.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Ver­ti­cal chal­lenge: Staff from the Epsom-based New Zealand Blood Ser­vice, Frank Har­ris, left, Day­mon Shack as the ‘‘Blood Dude’’, Robyn Roberts, Nephi Arthur and Sa­man­tha Ea­ton, will be climb­ing 51 storeys on May 10.

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