Jess’s tough climb

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

On May 23, 750 fire­fight­ers na­tion­wide will climb 1103 steps, wear­ing 25 kilo­grams of gear.

Eleven teams from fire brigades around the Welling­ton re­gion are com­pet­ing in the Auck­land Sky Tower Chal­lenge fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Can­cer New Zealand.

Jess An­der­son is one of two women at the Ti­tahi Bay Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade Ser­vice, and at 21, is the youngest of the brigade’s 17 mem­bers.

The para­medic stu­dent has been vol­un­teer­ing for the Fire Ser­vice for 10 months and is a first- time Sky Tower Chal­lenge en­trant.

She will be joined by five other mem­bers of the brigade.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant be­cause it’s a very phys­i­cal and men­tally drain­ing job, so know­ing what your body is ca­pa­ble of and push­ing your­self to those lim­its is good, ‘‘ she said.

‘‘It’s also a re­ally im­por­tant cause. Be­cause of what I do for a job and what I study, you see how [can­cer] af­fects peo­ple’s lives.

‘‘I lost my cousin two years ago to can­cer, so I’m do­ing it in mem­ory of him, too. His wife will be wait­ing for me at the top.’’

The climb will be Ta­mati Kaa’s sec­ond time rep­re­sent­ing the Ti­tahi Bay team.

‘‘ It’s a real tor­toise- style race. The tor­toise al­ways wins, ‘‘ the 41-year-old said.

‘‘Imag­ine do­ing a hill walk to the town belt wear­ing the big­gest, heav­i­est boots you can find with the type of cloth­ing you’d nor­mally go ski­ing in, with gloves and an oxy­gen tank on your back.

‘‘That’s ba­si­cally what it’s like.’’

Ti­tahi Bay has raised $2576, and the event has raised $146,000 of a $750,000 tar­get.

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