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PLEASE SPONSOR
Steve Ferkau - Kari's Klimbers
Amount Raised
$6,535.00
Fundraising Goal $5,000.00

My Message

Thirteen…  I think that many of you know how special the number thirteen is to me – it’s on the sleeves of our team shirts every year.  That was copied from a shirt that was given to me when I learned of Kari…  It was the number Kari wore on her volleyball team.

 

2017 will be my 15th climb – and it is our team’s 14th climb!  This will be the 14th time my Kari’s Klimbers team has taken the stairs 94 floors, 1,622 steps to the top of the John Hancock Center for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.  The support I've received from friends, family, co-workers and the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago over the years has blown my mind. Because of so many of those generous people, since 2003 my team has raised well over $300,000 to support the Respiratory Health Association and help raise awareness and fund research towards curing lung diseases - and they've helped me raise awareness about organ donation.

 

But the reason I climb, and the reason I can climb involves the beautiful girl in the picture I’m holding.  Her name is Kari…

 

A little over 16 years ago, at dinner with her family in Iowa, Kari told her family how strongly she felt about organ donation.  Not long after that day, Kari passed away – and at the most devastating moment in their lives, Kari’s family honored her wishes and reached out and saved my life.  On April 8, 2000, Kari brought her beautiful smile into my life when she and her family gave me both of her lungs.

 

Over the past 13 years, more than a dozen of Kari’s friends, family and volleyball teammates have come out from Iowa, Minnesota, Kentucky and Aurora to climb with me.  Many of you know how I feel about Kari – can you imagine how it feels to be around the people who loved her, and the people who she loved?!?  And if that ain’t crazy enough – 12 years of the drugs I take to keep Kari’s beautiful lungs gradually destroyed my kidneys.  In 2012, one of Kari’s friends & volleyball teammates, Alex, gave me one of her kidneys!  It appears I’m slowly being rebuilt into a girl from Iowa…

 

I lived 39 years with lousy, cystic fibrosis lungs – I never, ever understood what it felt like to breathe “normally”…  Kari changed all of that.

 

In 2000, Kari saved my life – 12 years later, her friend saved my life again – but organizations like the RHAMC and crazy people who leap tall buildings with me, and people like you are also a big part of the reason that I’m still alive…  They raise funds for research and programs and treatments and they helped carry me to Kari’s door.  Funding research is one of the main reasons I’m still breathing…

 

In my picture, I’m holding on to the other reason.  Please consider organ donation – find your state’s donor registry and register – and tell your family how you feel.  I know a beautiful girl from Iowa who knew how she felt and she told her family…  I think about her every single day.

 

For more information, and my tribute to the beautiful girl who saved my life, go to:

 

www.ClimbingForKari.org

My Team

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My Supporters (62)

Anonymous Friend! donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 13, 2017 8:26 PM
Cheevers & Co., LLC donated $540.00
Mar 7, 2017 2:41 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $25.00
Mar 7, 2017 12:28 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $100.00
Mar 7, 2017 6:39 AM
Natalie donated $25.00
Mar 6, 2017 1:28 PM
Timothy Retz donated $25.00
Mar 5, 2017 7:34 PM
Katheryn Rodgers donated $20.00
Mar 3, 2017 10:16 AM
Cheevers & Co., LLC donated $500.00
Mar 1, 2017 3:43 PM
Cynthia Miller donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 28, 2017 9:21 PM
Mike Pudela donated $65.00
Feb 27, 2017 10:21 AM
Anonymous Friend! donated $500.00
Feb 27, 2017 8:58 AM
Donna Andrzejewski donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 26, 2017 11:44 PM
B & L Watkins donated $200.00
Feb 26, 2017 5:57 PM
Kevin tynan donated $25.00
Feb 26, 2017 12:13 PM
Joan and Dan Sells donated $50.00
Feb 25, 2017 11:02 AM
Dan & Sarah Kuhn donated $100.00
Feb 24, 2017 10:44 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $50.00
Feb 24, 2017 7:12 PM
Melissa Knapp donated $25.00
Feb 24, 2017 5:12 PM
Jenn & Brandon Pettis donated $50.00
Feb 24, 2017 4:07 PM
Joe Drake donated $50.00
Feb 24, 2017 3:55 PM
Tom Hampton donated $50.00
Feb 24, 2017 2:41 PM
Jorg Kreienbrock donated $100.00
Feb 23, 2017 7:23 PM
Lynne Mulvey donated $25.00
Feb 23, 2017 3:45 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $150.00
Feb 23, 2017 1:00 PM
Andrea donated $50.00
Feb 23, 2017 6:40 AM
Chris & Kristi Blake donated $100.00
Feb 22, 2017 6:30 PM
Diane Viola donated $10.00
Feb 22, 2017 4:07 PM
Francis Connolly donated $50.00
Feb 22, 2017 3:17 PM
Bridget MacMillan donated $50.00
Feb 22, 2017 12:31 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 22, 2017 10:02 AM
Grace Fill donated $50.00
Feb 22, 2017 9:25 AM
Ross Berger donated $300.00
Feb 22, 2017 7:07 AM
Sandro donated $100.00
Feb 21, 2017 3:55 PM
Matt Peters donated $50.00
Feb 21, 2017 3:45 PM
Julie Ciszek donated $50.00
Feb 21, 2017 2:16 PM
Laura Ellsworth left a message
Feb 21, 2017 11:32 AM
Steve, if I could pledge you in donuts, I would! Go get 'em, friend, and one of these years, I will grow a pair and join you! Promise!
Laura Ellsworth donated $50.00
Feb 21, 2017 11:31 AM
Jenny and Robin Bienemann donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 20, 2017 6:31 AM
Thomas Scott donated $50.00
Feb 19, 2017 9:30 PM
Nick & Marge donated $30.00
Feb 19, 2017 4:20 PM
Deborah Ward donated $25.00
Feb 19, 2017 12:15 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $100.00
Feb 19, 2017 11:36 AM
Kathryn Bixby donated $50.00
Feb 19, 2017 10:37 AM
Larry&Lisa donated $100.00
Feb 19, 2017 7:07 AM
Scott and Teal donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 18, 2017 6:23 PM
Maggi donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 17, 2017 9:19 PM
R Deaver donated $25.00
Feb 17, 2017 8:31 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $50.00
Feb 17, 2017 8:23 PM
Colette Loesher donated $100.00
Feb 17, 2017 5:16 PM
Kim donated $50.00
Feb 17, 2017 4:55 PM
Donalyn Dow donated $50.00
Feb 17, 2017 3:54 PM
Jacqueline Lucente donated $100.00
Feb 17, 2017 3:01 PM
Owen & Landon Boal Walther donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 17, 2017 2:03 PM
Blackie's donated $25.00
Feb 17, 2017 1:10 PM
Donna Dassie donated $25.00
Feb 11, 2017 5:46 PM
Mary & Ron Lewis donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 4, 2017 12:45 PM
Dave donated $200.00
Jan 31, 2017 10:38 AM
Forest and Jen Lidel donated $100.00
Jan 9, 2017 11:21 AM
Tom and Jeannine donated $250.00
Nov 30, 2016 7:03 PM
Matt, Laura, Chase & Miles Becker donated an undisclosed amount
Nov 27, 2016 12:15 PM
Larry and Linda donated an undisclosed amount
Oct 28, 2016 5:00 PM
Steve Ferkau donated $100.00
Oct 17, 2016 6:58 PM
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