Fire­fight­ers chal­lenged

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Know­ing what fam­i­lies go through when a loved one has cancer mo­ti­vated Mor­gan Mey­ers to take on the Sky Tower’s 1103 steps.

The Mis­sion Bay man says his fam­ily has ex­pe­ri­enced cancer and feels for those who know some­one bat­tling the dis­ease.

He raised more than $300 for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand in the an­nual Fire­fight­ers Sky Tower Stair Chal­lenge on Satur­day .

About 700 fire­fight­ers from 184 bri­gades and sta­tions around the coun­try joined Mey­ers.

This year 12 fire­men, led by the NZ Fire­fight­ers Char­i­ta­ble Trust, walked more than 280km in full gear from Wai­tangi to Auck­land ahead of the climb.

Mem­bers of the Birken­head vol­un­teer and Auck­land Air­port bri­gades walked the full dis­tance in­clud­ing across the Har­bour Bridge.

Mey­ers made it to the top in 14 min­utes 53 sec­onds – just un­der his goal of 15 min­utes.

Be­ing a fire­fighter is some­thing Mey­ers says he al­ways as­pired to af­ter a brief stint at age 20.

Now 31, the job al­lows him to help people in a va­ri­ety of ways and no two days are the same, he says.

Car­ry­ing 25kg of fire­fight­ing gear to the top of the tower was a chal­lenge he trained in­tensely for.

Luck­ily he had fel­low Otara bri­gade fire­fighter and last year’s win­ner Josh Har­ri­son of­fer­ing him tips.

About 10,000 people in the coun­try are liv­ing with blood cancer or re­lated con­di­tions, Leu- kaemia & Blood Cancer NZ says.

Fire­fight­ers raised $868,000 for the or­gan­i­sa­tion dur­ing the chal­lenge.

Pho­tos: MICHAEL BRADLEY

Time out: Fire­fighter Mor­gan Mey­ers catches his breath af­ter climb­ing 1103 steps in the Fire­fight­ers Sky Tower Stair Chal­lenge.

Rest­ing up: Fire­fight­ers Dar­ryl Jack­son, left, and Shane Reily and have a rest af­ter the climb.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click Lat­est Edi­tion to watch high­lights from the 2013 Sky Tower chal­lenge.

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