All the way to the top
Every year since 2015 firefighters have climbed the 98 storeys, or 1504 stairs of Sydney Tower Eye wearing full structural Firefighting ensemble and air sets with a combined weight of over 20Kg to raise funds for MND research at Macquarie University. At a vertical rise of 820 feet, the climb to the observation deck is a gruelling challenge. Each floor of the stairwell is dedicated patients of MND both past and present. It’s a harrowing journey but nothing compared to what families living with MND go through every day.
The fight against MND
The event began in 2015, raising $180,000 for MND research. In 2016 a further $510,990 was raised, in 2017 another $630,000, and in 2018 a further $779,000 was raised thanks to overwhelming support from the firefighting community and the general public. This makes over $2,100,000 raised since 2015 through this event.
MND research is a cause that is very close to the heart of NSW firefighter Matt Pridham, as best friend Adam Regal was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given a very short life expectancy.
“Ten years ago we lost an uncle to MND. He was the first to be diagnosed in our family. He passed away just 18 months later. My father in 2011 was going through the process of seeing the doctors. From then, he was downhill straight away. It was just over 12 months before he passed away. And then not even twelve months later, I was hit with the same trap.” Adam Regal
Adam, a loving husband and father of two, sadly lost the fight against MND in August 2018. The Firefighters Climb for MND began in 2015 in honour of Adam and all other families in Australia living with MND, and will continue in their honour until there is a cure for MND.
Where does the money go?
Macquarie University houses Australia’s largest MND research facility. Currently Macquarie University employs over 70 researchers and 12 clinicians involved in the research effort into MND. All researchers work together in the one facility, on the one topic, with one aim: To stop MND.
There are many facets to the clinical and research effort into MND at Macquarie University. The research begins in the MND clinic, where we collaborate with our patients to understand the biological processes of this dreadful disease. As a result of the fundraising effort since 2015, for the first time ever Macquarie has started two new clinical trials to slow and stop MND. This is a huge step forward and gives hope to people living with MND.
Registration to climb the tower is only available for firefighters. If you are a member of the public, you are welcome to join us and spectate from the base or top of the tower. Climbing is strictly reserved for registered firefighters.