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Get signed up! Chiefs Champions 5K 2020

Get signed up! Chiefs Champions 5K 2020

Are you in the Central Ohio area, anywhere in Ohio, or just looking for another amazing event that puts money straight to a cause of making a difference?  Check out the Chief’s Champions 5k that is raising money for brain cancer research in memory of former BST&G Fire Chief Jeff Wilson.

Link to the run is here.  Get signed up for a great cause today!

Local firefighter climbing to find cures for blood cancer

Local firefighter climbing to find cures for blood cancer

PRESS RELEASE

January 13, 2020
Contact: Jason Bostic
Tel: 740-485-6790
Email: jason@ff4cures.com

FREDERICKTOWN – Joining 2100 firefighters from around the world, local firefighter Jason Bostic will compete in the 29th annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Firefighter Stairclimb on March 8, 2020.  Bostic is a firefighter with the Johnsville Fire Department in Morrow County and the Fredericktown Community Fire District, and has represented Ohio the last 14-years at the event.

Along with firefighters from 360 fire departments, 26 states, and five countries, he will compete in the timed race up 69 floors to the top of the Columbia Center tower in Seattle, WA. The building at 788 feet of vertical elevation stands as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi and will take firefighters 1354 steps to reach the top. Firefighters will race to the top wearing full combat gear and a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) weighing an average of 60-70 pounds.

“This competition is grueling, it is a mental and physical challenge that will take you beyond what you conceived were your limits, and it puts things in perspective” said Bostic.  “At the end of the day after the competition our battle is done, but for those with blood cancers the battle goes on.  It pushes me to not give up, to keep fighting, and to keep going for those that can’t fight.”

From start to finish, firefighters in this event are on the air from their SCBA.  With the gear they wear and the heat from the stairwell it turns into an intense battle to get to the top.  While each is pushing for their time, their personal best, their fundraising goals, the end result for the thousands involved is one goal, to beat blood cancer.  Once firefighters get involved in the event, for many it becomes a primary focus per year for them.

“This has been 14-years in the making, and I am excited to compete once again on this level with some of the best firefighters there are for an organization that means so much,” said Firefighter Jason Bostic.  “This is a life changing event that brings so much good to those battling blood cancers, the health and fitness aspects of preparing for the event, and such amazing brotherhood.”

Preparing for the event is not something easy to duplicate in rural Central Ohio.  With no buildings even close to what the Columbia Center Tower is, it takes a different level of training in order to be physically and mentally ready.  In addition to a regimen in the gym, and the firehouse, Bostic utilizes other competitive stair climbs and races in the Midwest to prepare.

“I run the training tower in gear, I run a considerable number of stairs, I do some pretty intense cardio routines that push the body to the limits, and it serves a dual purpose.  Readiness for the competition and for being firefighter fit,” said Bostic.  “I have numerous other climbs that help me prepare for Seattle, but this one has my heart because of my connection with Leukemia.”

Beyond the competition aspects of the stair climb, for the sixth year, Bostic is an Ambassador for the LLS that works with the International teams and those in the Eastern United States.  As an Ambassador, the greater part of the year is spent in promotion, event planning, working with firefighters from around the world, and pulling off the largest firefighter fundraiser of its kind.

“Being an ambassador to the climb keeps me engaged with my brother firefighters to help push all of us forward in finding cures, setting records, and collectively making a difference,” said Bostic.  “We are the faces of the LLS to the firefighter world and strive to promote this event and keep it to a premier level, which in turn keeps allowing us to get closer to the goal, cures.”

This is the fourteenth time that he has competed in the event, yearly pushing close to the $2000 mark in fundraising.

“My personal goal this year is $2000 toward an event goal of $3 million dollars.  The fundraising is slow and gradual, but it is exciting to hit these goals,” said Bostic.  “I can’t payback the efforts of what the L&LS and their research did to save my mom, but I can pay it forward and know it makes a difference.”

Bostic’s motivation for participating in the event was his mother Peggy’s illness of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia that nearly took her life in 1986. Her long battle with CML continued to slowly kill her until she received a bone marrow transplant in 1990. The unmatched, unrelated bone marrow transplant was the first of its kind at The Ohio State University Medical Center and was before the James Cancer Institute came to fruition. Without fundraisers and funding for research, her life may not have been saved. She has been in remission since 1993 and continues to live a healthy life.

For more information about his climb and to donate you can visit his LLS donation website at http://www.llswa.org/goto/FF4CURES2020

 

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Why I won’t stop…

Why I won’t stop…

13 years.  Over $25,000 raised.  Thousands of firefighters that I’ve had the great opportunity to climb, fundraise, and compete with for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Surely many would see that as a great accomplishment and lives saves, but sadly the battle for many goes on.  Cures have not been found, funding is not where it needs to be, and we still have a lot of work to be done.

As I sit here tonight looking back on many years, many honorees, and memories I am extremely excited and proud to be representing my family, my department, and the Great State of Ohio.  Two weekends away is the 2019 LLS Firefighter Stair Climb and the names/stories to these names I will carry forever and make it my work to find CURES!

Passing on the left…

Passing on the left…

I penned a slightly abridged version of this in response to a social media post regarding the 9/9/2018 Columbus 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb that I read yesterday.  The jist of posting showed a firefighter only Memorial Stair Climb showing firefighters stopping for each other, checking on one another, and trudging along at their pace.  As quoted, “Take note there is no one pushing past each other in the stairwell causing safety issues. Hint hint Ohio 9/11 stair climb organizers.”  The posting goes on to comment that “organizers who don’t even participate in the event combine those not in turnout gear that move much faster than those as we see here. That gives a very unsafe element to that event.”

I will say that again, I was not an organizer of their event this year, however as a skilled and seasoned climber the last thing that I want someone to get is the impression that the climb is being ran in an unsafe manner and see a decline or problem encouraging people to participate.  If I thought it was unsafe, well firstly I would have said something, secondly I would not have let my eight-year-old son participate (this was his fourth climb).  

I’ve seen firefighters in full gear do the entire thing on breathing air, geared up but not on air, wearing SCBA only, climb in their station shirts and shorts, station gear, SWAT members in gear, military with full ruck, Crossfit with plate carriers, civilians with baby carriers, and people of ALL ages.  I’ve seen people at a snails pace, and I’ve seen professional stair climb teams race through it and cheer us on the entire time.  

For me, it was climbing in my competition gear (yay to no carcinogens), wearing my Scott Pak, and climbing along with my son Jonas who was in his set of gear.  He’s not new to understanding 9/11 and knowing about that day (to a kid appropriate level), he’s not new to climbing and being around a firehouse either.  We chatted the entire time about that day.  He pushed me, I pushed him, we pushed and encouraged others.  

How we remember September 11th is a very personal choice, but I think the MOST important pieces are that we DO REMEMBER, WE NEVER FORGET, WE HONOR THEIR MEMORIES, AND WE PASS DOWN THE STORY.  

Saw the post and thought I’d hop in here.  As a participant of stair climbs around the United States (and now international as well), ambassador, climb organizer/committee person I wanted to chime in with what I’ve been a part of doing for 13 years now.  I am not on the committee at the Columbus 9/11 Stair Climb, however have participated in the Chase tower event twice now.  I don’t know 100% of everyone involved with the planning of this year, but know several of the minds that have been a part of this DO climb or have DONE climbs elsewhere.  This year I climbed the Chase building with my son.

Firstly, not all climbs are equal.  I will say that civilians in with firefighters happens at almost every climb that I have been to, unless it is strictly a firefighter only event.  I have yet to see a civilian climber cause injury to a firefighter in the stairwells as a part of passing, maybe that’s luck, I don’t know but I’ve been in some of the smallest all the way up to the nice wide stairs of WTC1 Freedom Tower.  I’ve seen my share of people slip in water, sweat, puke, and simply collapse on their own. As someone who is directly involved with the worlds largest firefighter climb event where FF are passing at all rates of speed, I just don’t see the injuries.  Annoying to some maybe, but I’ve seen those civilians push us along at climbs all over. I’ve seen them keep us going when we wanted to give in, stop, and not complete our climb.

Hats off to anyone that wants to challenge themselves to a grueling climb of 110+ floors in memory of our fallen and those lost on 9/11.  Are the ones racing and pushing their bodies as a part of their gym WOD disrespecting our fallen?  I’ve pondered that at many of the climbs I’ve been in, and after meeting and talking with many of them, hearing their stories, and seeing them struggle as much as us, I would say no.  For the greater part of them I would say no they aren’t being disrespectful.  At these events from coast to coast I have met former military, active military, law enforcement, family members of our fallen throwing on plate carriers, rucks, and pushing their bodies to the top, none of which I would call disrespectful.

This year, the event grew so much at Columbus, it was amazing to see the numbers that were had. Mother nature decided however to screw with the plans and forced everyone and the ceremony inside.  I can’t fault the event for this unfortunate problem. Yes it was packed.  Yes communication about who went where was a little harder to disseminate because pretty much you were on top of each other in there from the start.  I started out the first lap in the stairwell with mainly FF in it, no problems other than the typical puke and elevators being packed with people at the top.  For ascent number 2-5 we went to the other stairwell that had more civilians that were going up and down.  Little less smell of puke.  Little faster pace.  Less jam at the top of the stairwell.  Saw people passing both up and down, never saw a single firefighter or civilian injured from a trip or fall from this.  Water and sweat slip hazards, yes, but that’s in every event out there like this. The cooling fans from whomever sponsored this one were AMAZING and definitely want to look into a few of these for size.  Water was readily available.  Cooling station at the bottom with all the fans was a nice idea.  If you didn’t cool enough there, step outside.

All things considered for their third year in the Chase building I think that the organizers did an amazing job with the curveballs dealt this year.  Had the weather not forced things inside I would probably say it was the best they’ve done thus far.  That’s the thing, stair climbs, runs, they all have issues at some point.  Every year you’re going to find something, otherwise if they were so perfect and simple WE WOULD SEE EVERYONE DOING THEM.

Kudos to those involved with keeping Chase as a partner for the event like they are.  Getting a building to “let you in” and do an event like this is quite hellish. A lot of cleaning needs to occur, there is the liabilities, the security risk, the chance of damage, and simply the inconvenience of it all.  Keeping the building happy is a huge endeavor in and of itself.

With better weather next year allowing everyone outside, I can see it being MUCH easier and the climb will continue to grow.  If it grows much larger they might need to look at moving to the Rhodes tower because of the larger lobby for staging and two stairwells.

Just my .02 for what its worth, but I’ve not seen anything that would keep me from coming back here to the event.  Great cause, good location, AMAZING turnout.

 

 

 

 

Why do I climb and compete?

Why do I climb and compete?

I’ve been asked this question a lot over the years at the competitor level, at the ambassador level, as an honored climber, or in the coffee shop.  Why do you climb, why are you doing these events?  As recent as this last weekend at the Columbus 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb I had firefighters stop and ask, “aren’t you that guy that does the events”?  Yep, that’s me.  “Why do you do it, where have you been to, what drives you, why participate?”   Yep, heard those and a million other questions.

From event to event there may be some differences in the answer that I give, the underlying foundation is the same.  First and foremost it is the ability to “Pay Forward”.  The iconic football coach Woody Hayes from The Ohio State University, made an amazing commencement speech in 1986 at the University on the topic of paying forward.

Coach Hayes encouraged the mentality of paying forward and that the graduates should, “take that attitude toward life, because so seldom can we pay it back.”  He went on to teach several other life lessons in his commencement speech that spring day and give examples of paying forward, but also many lessons from football that also pertain to life.  It was four years almost to the day that someone else followed the mantra of “paying it forward” by donating lifesaving bone marrow that cured my mother with little time to spare on March 14, 1990.

Paying forward is indeed a huge reason why I climb, why I compete, why I champion for the cause that I choose to champion for.  I have the ability to pay forward and make a difference in the lives of others now, and the lives of others in the years to come.  What we accomplish will be felt.

How can you not climb and compete?  Have you seen some of the causes we do this for?  Kids with cancer, adults with other diseases, people dying, suffering, other events that promote helping veterans, helping those with impairments.  How can you not get involved with that?  I did my first stair climb in 2007 and before the event even started that morning I knew I was addicted and wanted to come back. You hear from a child of their story battling.  You hear from a mother or father of the child they no longer have because they were taken too young.  Your battle with the stairs or the road race is minute, and then you get to relax and have a normal life.  Their battle continues.  When I comes down to it, when you see the faces of those that your work affects and how it can positively impact their lives, that is the real deal and gives you the “buy-in”.

I do it because, it’s the right thing.  Hey, so many times in our calling we see only the end results, we only see the bad days of peoples lives, we are focused on the task at hand.  We get focused on putting out the fire, handling the emergency and our mission is complete.  Being involved with many of the events, at least those in the role of a firefighter event lets us give back and put even more positive influence into the world. Some might say “using the office”, I look at it as just another very positive extension of the office and the oath that we take.

Whatever your reason is, stay true to it and be proud.  Share your reason, live your reason, and let that reason help encourage others.  Every one of these events out there didn’t grow to the level they are at without people sharing their mission, reason, goals, and joys of doing what we do.

 

 

 

 

Its a wrap

Its a wrap

What an amazing year that 2016 has been as things wind down and we prepare for a new year of possibilities, opportunities, and chances.

I started out 2016 with some amazing climbs throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. I served as a second year ambassador to the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb for the L&LS and had a huge successful fundraising campaign to push to VIP status with some major help from MANY people!   I HONORED to be one of two honoree climbers at the inaugural Big Climb Philly for the LLS and spent a lot of time pushing their new climb that’s closer to home. It was unexpected to be called out during the ceremony to read my bio.   9/11 stair climbs out the wazoo, and I helped with numerous climbs behind the scenes, marketing …marketing …marketing…   I finally made the Tunnel to Towers Run in New York City, running in full gear with around 25,000-30,000 new friends…and ran Brother Siller’s steps in full gear.  The 15th anniversary nonetheless!!!!  It was an amazing race and if you’re on the fence about it, get in contact with me, hopefully i can change your mind about it…you won’t regret the trip!

I’ve spent most of the year not only in my normal training routines and competitions, but this year taking up a life dream of training in martial arts. Its once again forced me out of my norm, but also been an amazing way to meditate, focus, and train the body with some great HIIT. What started out with supporting my son and watching him compete and train has turned into the two of us competing and both bringing home some amazing hardware. If you’re looking for an amazing new way to challenge your body, lets talk about this…hopefully in 2017 I will.

You may have noticed that the amount of writing up here the last few months has been lacking, but the work behind the scenes has been pushing 110%. This year I had an unexpected setback, but that doesn’t even begin to describe what has transpired in the second half of the year. In actuality I still don’t have words for it all. While this post is a wrap-up of 2016, it wouldn’t be right to miss the opportunity to speak about Brian. In fact as I sit here blogging this morning I opened the laptop, tagged to several videos from June/July that have been reposted which were a reminder of just what can be accomplished.

Run after run after run, I took back to the road in the later part of the year to challenge myself and keep pushing the cardio that I let off of. Times are coming down, endurance is going back up, with work this will continue into the new year!

The later half of the year, while a confused whirlwind, has provided me with a reminder of the amazing support that exists, not just locally, but reaching worldwide. The phonecalls, text messages, IM’s, emails, and everyway that you have connected has been amazing and helped myself and others through it.

Thank you for blessing me with your continued support and assistance as I share what we are doing to push, promote, support others, make a difference, PAYFORWARD, and FIND CURES!!!!

The new look

The new look

This has been a long time coming. The first real major overhaul and revamp of not only the blog, but also the logo and branding of Firefighter4Cures. Its been on the radar, but just something that I couldn’t accomplish and something that I was very selective of who touches my project of the heart. They say that everything happens for a reason, people come into our lives for a reason, and that there is much meaning to this…. whomever the “they” is…they are absolutely correct.

After five very hard months of pondering life, direction, meaning and where this was headed I was ready to make it happen. I turned to an amazing friend and alum that I’ve known for years and handed Sabrina perhaps one of my prize possessions, a project of my heart. The original design, the core pieces, the meaning, and the whole project were handed to her with full trust and I let her work. If you know how protective I am this, who represents, touches this, and works with it, you understand what this means. The creative juices flowed and she added dimension, style, flair, and even helped place new elements into it. Some that we worked through, and others such as the smoke that were an unexpected meaning to me.

I was blown away seeing this come together and as a creative myself, learning new things. She took what I could not see with my own eyes and brought it to life where I feel the logo as a part of me.  There are no words that can completely describe how pleased I am, nor how much this means to me. Thank you will never be enough…

FIGHT – “We Fight Together”

CONQUER – “We will conquer battles together” “We will conquer cancer.”

STRENGTH – “We will be strong when others cannot” “We will show our strength to encourage others.” “When you don’t have the strength, let others pick up and fight for you.”

PERSEVERE – “We never give up, we keep on fighting” “Carry on” “Be persistent” “Be tenacious”

Be looking for this more in 2017!!!

We’re off to the races!

We’re off to the races!

This week wasn’t just any typical week, but it started the push toward a very busy time.  I’m back out hitting the steps, putting in the reps, and getting the miles in as I prepare for September and a slew of events from there on out.  Climbs, runs, and challenges, the month is full of them and then the push continues from there into 2017.  I’ve updated the page to show a few more of the events that are coming up, but we don’t have all of them in there yet.  So many of the races and climbs haven’t officially announced, but we know that these have been long running ones that will be out there just the same.

While a lot of people are still out there trying to get a little vacation in or get ready for school to start up, I was out there hitting the steps this week.  With over 300 floors in and some solid workout I feel confident that not only am I prepared for a busy September, but getting even more excited about March and the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb.  The last few years I’ve just been finding ways to chip away at the time and I certainly don’t want to disappoint this year!

Also off to the races is fundraising.  Sponsorships have been really popular early, so much that I wanted to get a new jersey out before too long and get these people seen!  As you know my sponsorships go toward my fundraising goals for the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb (benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).  Well, this year I’m already going to be starting the year out with the money set back.  Look out Elite 25, I’m coming for you and bringing it again.  If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch with me at jason@ff4cures.com or 740-627-1664 and I can get the information out to you.  We still have spaces on the jersey that I would LOVE to fill.

Thats the short update for tonight, get out there, get training, and get to making a difference!

Some changes coming…

Some changes coming…

This has been quite the ride so far and while I don’t know where the end could be, I know that the reach of FF4CURES is getting larger by the day!  I’ve watched Brian’s story go from local, to regional, to state and way beyond.  Now don’t get worried, these aren’t changes for the bad or anything like that, simply some things that need to happen up here to really continue the mission to raise awareness, make a difference in the lives of others, and the PAY FORWARD.

What will be changing…

1.  You’ll notice a few less events over the next 6-12 months.  While its been HUGE to get a lot of visibility I am trying to be select in where we are and also helping promote and help operate a few more events.  Also this gives more time for training and a little downtime to keep on the mission!  I’ve enjoyed a lot more time with those battling and time with family the last year.  With that said, we’ve got some awesome events we’re headed to, including the Tunnel to Towers Run in New York City at the end of September!  Some of the events I’m doing just have some more logistical costs to them, but are VERY important.

2.  More updates on the website.  I’ve wanted more articles, but honestly the last year it just hadn’t panned out as much as I planned.  I am hoping to feature something at least once a week of original content, plus also sharing others information and so forth.

3.  Events Calendar!  There are so many things going on out there that people just need awareness that it exists. Climbs (especially!), races, fundraisers, and more.  So I am working on this.  If you have an event you would like us to advertise, please email to jason@ff4cures.com

4.  Team FF4CURES.  Yes.  I see this vision of this becoming larger than me, because if I want more of an effect it needs to be.  More importantly, I want to reach even more places and more people to have an impact.  No, there aren’t applications yet.  No, there aren’t any ground rules laid out.  No, I don’t have the full idea of what all this will entail, but I am working on that.  I see this as standout firefighters from around the world with the same commitments and dedication to causes.

Thank you to everyone that has been a part of this so far.  Looking forward to the FUTURE and celebrating three years very soon!

Bike Run and Pool Tourney for Cancer

Bike Run and Pool Tourney for Cancer

Bike Run and Pool Tournament for Cancer
Foundations Helping Children with Cancer

Midway Tap

146 Union Street, Newark, Ohio 43055
Contact: Stella Pegan 740-405-0331

Sunday, July 10, 2016

First bike out at 11am-1pm, bikes in by 5pm.  Each person $10.00, passengers $5.00.
50% to the benefit and the best hand wins!

3 Bar box tables
Doubles tournament, Cincinatti Style $20.00 Sign up at Noon and Calcutta 12:30pm
Singles tournament $10.00 Sign up at 1:00pm and Calcutta 1:30pm.
Valley rules, race to two both side up to 32 players, after that raise to 2 on winners and one on losers.

Food, 50/50, auction, and various raffles.

Sent in by Team William.