The latest project finally was delivered to my front porch today with a special purpose geared toward continuing to promote FF4CURES and paying forward. Over the last eight years I have looked for a way to say thank you to those donating of significance to events that I am competing in. Something other than a letter or card or photo is needed sometimes when you have great backing that keeps coming back. The idea last year however was to change that up and also be able to give something to those who I am competing for so they know people are out there fighting for them. Last year for a couple very special sponsors I had a challenge coin that I presented, to some that doesn’t seem like much, but it really is.
This year however, I came up with using a custom poker chip from thechipsite.com as a token of thought and appreciation. The Military, Fire, Police, and EMS utilize challenge coins of many shapes, sizes, and colors, with the latest thing getting traded around being custom Poker Chips with your logo on them. I can’t take credit entirely for the idea as I have seen several of my brothers such as Lt. Fleitz – The Fire Critic and Capt. Wines – Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen utilize their own chips along with several F.O.O.L.S chapters doing the same. Nonetheless, I wanted a piece that could be multipurpose toward my goals and the FF4CURES Chip is it.
Every part of the chip stands for something and has a meaning. One side has the FF4Cures logo on it that I designed. On that logo, I have my blogsite name and website, but more importantly the middle. The orange ribbon represents my dedication to helping find cures while supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The “Buckeye Stripe” signifies my family’s ties to The Ohio State University and the people of the great hospital that saved my mothers life. My helmet shield and my department patch also adorn the side as wherever I go, I represent not only my family name, but my department name as well.
On the flip side the main focus is the logo of the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb, my prime event, my main event of all competitions, and the one that got me started. This event changed and perhaps I would go as far to say saved my life. At the top and the bottom of this side, the red/white/black stripe continues as for eight years I have been the only firefighter from Ohio to represent at the International event in Seattle. I’m pretty proud of being the only Ohio firefighter to rep at an event of this size and it means a lot to me.
The edge of the chip is simple, “win battles one step at a time.” It’s something that has stuck with me since my first climb in Seattle. Here I was, a rural firefighter who doesn’t have over a three story in his first due area standing in front of a talk dark skyscraper going “oh my how am I going to do this?” Someone told me simply one step at a time don’t look at the whole thing, take it by floors and break it up. All too often when we look at things, the picture can be intimidating, overwhelming, and even impossible, but when we break it down that changes and we start winning the small battles and keep moving. That diagnosis of Leukemia or really any other disease is a huge one and the battle for the person afflicted, their family, and caregivers can be a long and arduous one. Celebrating and focusing even on small accomplishments taking them step by step will get you through and get you there.
I am looking forward to placing several of these chips in the hands of some important people over the coming days and while in Seattle. No doubt they are going to be put to use very fast. These are going to be a great tool to not only thank some awesome people, but let others know that there are many of us out there fighting for them and fighting for their cure! For instance the Seattle climb, 1800 of us competing in the event not to mention the hundreds of support staff that will be on hand, the families that travel out, and the worldwide brotherhood that takes challenges like this head on.
If you’re interested in hopping in on the donation wagon please visit www.ff4cures.com and click on the link to the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb and it will take you to the donation portal directly.