Six members of the California rugby team were joined by their academic advisor on Saturday, Nov. 5, as the Golden Bears raced 41 flights up the stairs of One Sansome Street, representing their athletic department in the fight against cystic fibrosis at the fifth annual Climb for Life.
A new event record was set with $50,000 in funds raised, 90 percent of which will go toward research, according to Cathi Connelly, executive director of the Northern California chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Freshman Spencer Morris continued the Rugby Bears' tradition of reaching the top of the building fastest as the Cal group contributed to the fight against the nation's number one threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of children and young adults. The funds raised by the CF Foundation seed money with private industry to fund front-end research and early-stage drug development until that research looks promising enough for the drug companies to fund the market.
"It's great to see these guys here and I love this event in part because, when they reach the top and are completely out of breath, that's how I feel every day," said Lindsay Dawn who had a double lung transplant 30 months ago and walked the stairs at the 2010 event.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization whose mission is to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease.
"When it's someone in your family, everyone responds, and the Cal rugby team is an extra lift," said Linda Hester, whose grand-niece, Hayley, was diagnosed with CF as an infant.
Coach Tom Billups coordinated the participation of players Nicklas Boyer, Kenny Bruzzone, Tyler Fach, Brad Harrington, Josh Tucker and Morris. They were joined by Nick McNeill, an academic advisor who has previously joined the team on one of its famous fire-trail runs.
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