Firefighters face many challenges and obstacles throughout their careers, as their jobs require quick thinking and battling through adversity and potential life-or-death challenges. On June 11, a group of Wheatland West Fire Department firefighters will take on a different type of challenge: climbing the stairs of the tallest tower in Calgary.

They'll be climbing Brookfield Place, which is home to 1370 steps and 57 floors, all while wearing their boots, SCBA (air pack) and helmet. Silke Stubbe from Strathmore is one of several Wheatland West firefighters braving the challenge, and she explained they're supporting Wellspring Alberta, a group focused on supporting people battling cancer and their families.

"Somebody (close to me) just passed away in the beginning of January and he had cancer and he was pretty close to us, so he's a good reason for climbing, but personally, I'd like to do this for anybody who's been affected by cancer," she said.

She added Wellspring is unique in that its focus is on supporting those currently living with cancer, rather than research. While all money donated to cancer is helpful, Stubbe said "this is helping the people that are taking care of the people that have cancer, which I think is different and good."

This is Stubbe's first time participating in the stair climb, which she's looking forward to. She said cancer is the number one cause of death for firefighters, which is most likely due to the various toxins and smoke they're exposed to, so she wanted to climb the stairs not just for those struggling with cancer, but for all firefighters who put their health on the line to keep their communities safe.

"(I'm climbing) to support my team or my fellow firefighters so we know that we're all in it together."

"The fitness aspect is also great, being a firefighter, you need to be fit."

The full list of firefighters participating and their donation links can be found below. Stubbe said all the money goes to the same place, so if you're interested in supporting Wellspring Alberta you can donate to whomever you like. There is also a team link at the bottom that represents all the firefighters. She said the goal is to collectively raise $8000.

Marcus Kartz:

Kyle McKay:

Carla Johnson:

Cordel Steadman:

Anthony Bezanson:

Cameron Johnson:

Rob Heckle:

Tanner Wheeler:

Silke Stubbe:

Wheatland West Warriors team page:

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