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PLEASE SPONSOR
Steve Ferkau - Kari's Klimbers
Amount Raised
$4,500.00
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.

2015 will be my 13th climb – it’s like my golden birthday!  And, it’s the 12th 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 14 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 9 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 almost 40 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

Steve is part of Kari's Klimbers
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My Supporters (50)

Robert Scarola donated $50.00
Mar 27, 2015 9:37 AM
Bill Oleszczak donated $50.00
Mar 7, 2015 8:47 AM
Guy Nickelson donated $50.00
Feb 25, 2015 11:33 AM
Dave & Kim Burdakin donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 23, 2015 1:12 PM
PJ Geraghty donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 22, 2015 9:05 PM
Anony Mous donated $35.00
Feb 22, 2015 1:34 AM
Anonymous Friend! donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 21, 2015 11:54 AM
Larry&Lisa donated $100.00
Feb 20, 2015 7:23 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $150.00
Feb 17, 2015 4:09 PM
Kim donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 15, 2015 9:34 PM
In memory of Margaret Craft donated $100.00
Feb 10, 2015 5:12 PM
Robert Deaver donated $25.00
Feb 7, 2015 8:59 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $50.00
Feb 6, 2015 1:37 PM
Colette Loesher donated $250.00
Feb 4, 2015 10:02 AM
Debby donated an undisclosed amount
Feb 2, 2015 9:04 PM
Nick & Marge Goedert donated $25.00
Feb 1, 2015 3:43 PM
Rita Sterling donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 31, 2015 5:07 PM
Maggi Czoty donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 31, 2015 1:34 PM
Laura Ellsworth donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 30, 2015 9:29 PM
Scott and Julie Teal donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 30, 2015 9:21 PM
Bridget MacMillan & Dave DiCicco donated $50.00
Jan 29, 2015 4:14 PM
Kathryn Rodgers donated $25.00
Jan 28, 2015 2:41 PM
Linda and Larry donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 28, 2015 10:15 AM
matched donations by Cheevers & Co. employees donated $700.00
Jan 27, 2015 12:05 PM
Damon donated $25.00
Jan 27, 2015 9:22 AM
Julie Ciszek donated $50.00
Jan 27, 2015 9:01 AM
Mike Pudela left a message
Jan 27, 2015 8:31 AM
Way to go, Steve! Keep on climbing!
Mike Pudele donated $50.00
Jan 27, 2015 8:30 AM
Mike and Leanne Storch donated $150.00
Jan 26, 2015 10:59 AM
Dave G donated $250.00
Jan 25, 2015 5:19 PM
TERRY NICOLA donated $50.00
Jan 25, 2015 5:11 PM
Anonymous Friend! donated $100.00
Jan 25, 2015 11:07 AM
Kathryn donated $30.00
Jan 25, 2015 9:37 AM
Matt Peters donated $50.00
Jan 23, 2015 7:33 AM
Jacqueline Lucente donated $100.00
Jan 23, 2015 7:05 AM
Anonymous Friend! donated $100.00
Jan 22, 2015 11:04 PM
Linda donated $213.00
Jan 22, 2015 10:14 PM
Frank Riordan donated $116.00
Jan 22, 2015 5:06 PM
Yolanda Becker donated $50.00
Jan 22, 2015 2:28 PM
Stephen Gaudet donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 22, 2015 12:24 PM
Tom Hampton donated $50.00
Jan 22, 2015 11:39 AM
Sandro donated $50.00
Jan 22, 2015 11:32 AM
Anonymous Friend! donated $300.00
Jan 22, 2015 9:31 AM
Teresa donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 22, 2015 8:49 AM
andrea donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 22, 2015 6:45 AM
Cindy Feldman donated $50.00
Jan 22, 2015 5:42 AM
Anonymous Friend! donated an undisclosed amount
Jan 21, 2015 11:41 PM
Linda left a message
Jan 21, 2015 6:23 PM
With you always in spirit......thanks so much for all you do!
Fearless Leader & Co. donated $100.00
Jan 21, 2015 6:22 PM
Steve Ferkau donated $100.00
Oct 15, 2014 8:05 AM
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