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Firefighter stairclimb a success for Klahowya grad

Brett Krache (right), with his brother Todd, has raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and recently participated in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. Todd died Nov. 30, 2008 from complications with lymphoma.   - Courtesy photo
Brett Krache (right), with his brother Todd, has raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and recently participated in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. Todd died Nov. 30, 2008 from complications with lymphoma.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Brett Krache surpasses $10,000 fundraising goal for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Fall City firefighter Brett Krache sprint-climbed 69 stories up the Columbia Center in Seattle with a photo of his baby brother, Todd, inside his face piece.

Brett, a 2000 Klahowya Secondary School grad, raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and participated in the 18th annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb March 8.

Brett’s youngest brother, Todd, of Silverdale, died Nov. 30, 2008 at the age of 21 from complications with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Todd was born with tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in different organs. He didn’t develop lymphoma until shortly before he died, according to Brett.

Brett, 26, set a goal to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in remembrance of his brother and was pleasantly surprised when he surpassed that mark.

“It’s been phenomenal. We’ve had a lot of support,” he said. “Up until about a month ago I was sitting at about $5,000. I didn’t think I was going to be able to meet it.”

Brett said it took him a little more than 18 minutes to climb the 1,311 stairs to the top of the Columbia Center in full firefighter gear. He added that was 3 1/2 minutes faster than his time last year.

“I thought last year was tough, but this year was way harder than I expected it to be,” Brett said. “It went well though. It was a lot of fun.”

He said he started feeling the pain of quickly climbing thousands of stairs at about the 20th floor.

“You just know it’s going to be painful,” Brett said. “I realized about 20 floors up that it was going to be painful.”

He said pictures of people who died from different types of blood cancer were plastered throughout the stairwells, including a photo of Todd. Brett didn’t see Todd’s photo on the wall, but he had his own small reminder of his brother to motivate him.

“I had a picture of him in my face piece,” he said. “There were a couple times where I looked at it and thought of him.”

Brett said people can continue to donate to his Scott Firefighter Stairclimb campaign until April 2 and the top fundraiser will win a trip for two to Hawaii.

And should Brett win, he and his brother, Kyle, 25, already have special plans for the trip.

Brett and Kyle have decided to give the trip to their parents, Dewey and Lynette Krache of Silverdale. Brett said they haven’t had time for a vacation because they were taking care of Todd.

“I think there’s a really good chance I’ll win the trip,” Brett said. “I told my mom, ‘You’re going to have to pack your bags and swimsuits and get going.’”

Brett said even if he doesn’t win the Hawaii trip for his parents, he’s still satisfied with the amount of money he raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

He said he plans to participate in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb as long as he’s able.

“I plan on doing it hopefully until my body doesn’t let me anymore or until I retire,” he said.

To donate money to Brett’s Scott Firefighter Stairclimb campaign and help win his parents a Hawaiian vacation, visit www.firefighterstairclimb.org and click on “Donate Now.” Search for “Brett Krache” and click on “Donate to Brett!” once directed to his Web page.

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