How the Big Climb came to Philly

This year, the third annual Big Climb Philly will take place on May 19th at the FMC Tower Cira Centre South2929 Walnut St, Philadelphia Pa 19104. Participants will climb the 46 story stairs of the 735-foot building to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


My family and I took part in the first and second annual Big Climb Philly.  The event itself is amazing, but what brought the Big Climb to Philadelphia is an even better story.


The Big Climb was originally called the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle, WA. The event is a yearly fundraiser that is open to Firefighters. These firefighters climb 69 floors and 1,356 steps of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle. What makes this event remarkable is that the firefighters complete this in full structural firefighting gear.  This event is symbolic for the firefighters. It symbolizes the fight all cancer patients endure and that each step is a step towards a cure for blood cancer.


The Scott Firefighter Stair Climb became so popular, they opened it up to the public and called it the Big Climb Seattle.

Duncan Glew, a Penn Charter ninth grader brought the idea for the Big Climb to Philadelphia.  In 2012 he was diagnosed with leukemia and lived in Seattle attending the Seattle County Day School.  In 2013 his school supported him by participating in the Big Climb and raising $185,000 for LLS.

Duncan was asked to be an honoree for LLS and the Seattle Big Climb. He wanted to continue to contribute as an honoree but by then he was living in Philadelphia to undergo t-cell treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Duncan was determined to spread the success of the Big Climb Seattle to Philadelphia. With the help of his new neighbors and friends at Penn Charter, he was able to work with the Eastern PA chapter of LLS to get this event started.


He worked behind-the-scenes and made connections with Michael J. Angelakis the Senior Advisor to the Executive Management Committee of Comcast Corporation to bring the event to the Comcast Center last year.  He helped to establish the event and has put in place a student committee to start the Penn Charter’s Big Climb Philly team.


Duncan Glew has accomplished so much as a freshman in high school; we should be able to participate by joining CoreFitness’ team to raise money and awareness to continue Duncan’s and LLS’ mission.

When you join the CorFitness team you will have access to the Big Climb Philly Bootcamp Classes to help you train for the Big event.

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

“LLS exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. They are the voice for all blood cancer patients and work to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients. LLS funds eleven active research projects in Pennsylvania. They fund research at the following institutions: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University.”

All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. They’ll not only support LLS research but patient services, advocacy, public and professional education, and community services as well.

Donate to a Team Member of Core Fitness Here!!

On behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, we thank you for your support!

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