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Chico firefighters head to stair climb for leukemia

"We've really found out what it's like to ask for help from our friends and family and community ... we've seen the best come out in everybody," said Brunson.

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018 6:00 PM
Updated: Mar. 6, 2018 6:03 PM

CHICO, Calif - "It's hard! it's an arduous process and we're doing it as fast as we can, it's a race," said Jeff Brunson.

This weekend will be the fourth time Chico firefighter Jeff Brunson has scaled the 69-story Columbia Center in Seattle.

"It's supposed to be hard, because it's supposed to represent the journey that these kids go through, and like I said it's a long journey and a hard journey. These kids are incredibly resilient, as are the families," said Brunson.

Five years ago, Brunson's son Geddy had been fighting what seemed like the flu that wasn't getting better. The diagnosis was their worst nightmare: Geddy had Leukemia.

"It started with ten days in the ICU really to try to save his life, he was going through liver failure at the time because his body was working so hard to filter out those cancerous blood cells," said Brunson.

But after three years of intensive chemotherapy, Geddy is a very happy and healthy third grader.

"I love Legos and Nerf guns," said Geddy.

But not everyone is so lucky.

The fact that Geddy's here and gets to go to Seattle with, it's not lost on us and I think of it as an honor, and my duty to do what I can to help out other families going through the same thing," said Brunson.

So the six-man "Team Geddy" is ready, but it will be a challenge.

The Chico Fire Training Center is five stories tall, in Seattle, they'll be climbing 69.

"That's a big number, a lot of floors to climb. But it's as competitive as you want to make it and more than that it's the emotional factor, we've all lost family members to blood-borne diseases," said Jason Cauble, Chico Firefighter.

"We've really found out what it's like to ask for help from our friends and family and community and another blessing is that we've seen the best come out in everybody," said Brunson.

"It's really cool, knowing they're going to climb that many stairs, it's special just to be watching that," said Geddy.

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