Three Kempsey Fire and Rescue firefighters will turn their attention from battling blazes to fighting for a cure when they tackle the Firies Climb For Motor Neurone Disease (MND) on November 9 this year.
Trey Hoskins, Ben Paix and Paul Lang will climb the 1504 steps of the Sydney Tower Eye and raise funds and awareness for MND.
The fifth year firefighter has personally seen the devastating affect MND has on a person.
"I have had friends who have passed away because of the disease and another friend was also recently diagnosed with it," Lang told the Argus.
"One of the best ways to describe what MND does is to imagine you're in a cage, and that cage continues to get smaller and smaller and restrict more and more of what you're able to do until you can't function anymore - it's terrible.
"There's two people diagnosed and two people who die from the disease every single day and there's still no cure."
Mr Hoskins, who is in his first year with Kempsey Fire and Rescue, was lost for words when he recently discovered the impact MND has.
"I heard of MND through Paul, I didn't know about it, and I did a bit of research and some of the statistics were really confronting," Mr Hoskins said.
"I felt like I needed to step up and assist and I am glad it's a cause firefighters are passionate about."
Mr Lang reached the top of the Sydney Tower Eye in under 24 minutes but admits it pushed him to his limit.
"I hit a wall at about 20 floors, so it was very challenging," Mr Lang said.
MND is a severely life-shortening condition for most people. Life expectancy for about half of those with the condition is three years from the start of symptoms.
MND causes nerve cells to break down, which reduces functionality in the muscles. The cause is still unknown.
The three men have donation boxes at the Argus, West Kempsey Hotel, Great Northern, Willawarrin pub, L-Bo Butchery, Zannies Pizzas, Gaunt Children Shop, Early Rise Bakery, Chaddies Store, South Kempsey General Store and Betta Electrical.
You can also donate to the group by heading to this website: https://fundraise.firiesclimbformnd.org.au/page/345Kempsey0?fbclid=IwAR3LxevqhLoln9QWydl7oRUgwS9iFD7_lOFGBKLu_QHXeoDA-pagp_6q898
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