Helping Kids with Cancer: A Steep Climb for Online IT Student

Online Student Mark Crum

March is Student Appreciation Month at WGU. The Night Owl community is full of amazing students, alumni, and prospective students dedicated to jobs, families, volunteer work, hobbies—and, on top of it all, furthering their education. This month, we're sharing a few stories of spectacular Night Owls who are contributing to their communities.

By Mark Crum
Student, B.S. in IT–Software

This will be my fourth year competing in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. I am a volunteer firefighter for Okanogan County Fire District #6 in Washington state's Methow Valley and am currently a Lieutenant at the Winthrop Station.

Professionally, I'm an IT specialist for the Okanogan County Electric Co-op, a small rural electric utility serving just under 3,500 members. I'm enrolled in WGU's BS of Information Technology program with an emphasis on Software.

I enjoy fund raising and competing in the stairclimb for numerous reasons, but mostly to raise money for children and families affected by cancer. I can't imagine if one of my own children (Macey and Arlen) had cancer.

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb

At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia Center (formerly Bank of America Tower) in downtown Seattle stands as the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to reach the highly acclaimed observation deck overlooking the city.

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb supports the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fund raising, and entry fees. In 2012, the event featured 1,550 firefighters from 291 different departments and brought in a record $1.2 million for blood-cancer research and patient services.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

The LLS is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $814 million for research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

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