CFA Volunteer Tom Prunty will hold his late brother’s helmet this Saturday while competing in the tenth annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb 2023.
Last year Tom’s older brother, Connor aged 24, died of bowel cancer after a six-week battle.
His reason for competing is because of the support his family relied on from Peter MacCallum and 000 Foundation last year.
The stair climb challenge is a fundraiser for Lifeline, Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and the 000 Foundation.
“I've wanted to do the Stair Climb challenge for a few years, but this year it hit home and it's pretty important to do it for a great cause,” Tom said.
“Connor spent time at Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and it was just great to see what an amazing facility they are as well as all the research that they are doing.”
“The 000 Foundation also played a major part over that time. They provided a grant for us and paid for all our accommodation so that we could stay hassle free in Melbourne and just spend as much time with Connor in the last week or so.”
Tom, now 20, joined the Buninyong-Mount Helen brigade at the age of 16, a year after his brother joined.
“We are completely different really – he loved school and IT and I am more hands on.”
“CFA is that one thing we saw eye to eye on. I joined at 16 and for the first two years, before I got my licence he would drive me to jobs and wake me up because I did not hear the pager.”
“I definitely looked up to him. There was a little competition, but fairly civil. We were close and were all still living at home.”
“Conner was a quiet person and he came out of his shell a bit after joining the CFA brigade.”
On Saturday Tom’s Mum, Dad and sister will be there cheering him on.
The Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb 2023 will take place on Saturday 2 September. Participants will climb 28 floors of Crown Metropol Hotel wearing 25 kilos of turn out gear and breathing apparatus.
To donate visit https://www.firefighterclimb.org.au/climber/tomprunty/