On My Team16 is climbing up for Central New York’s youngest cancer fighters

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) All across Central New York, hundreds are gearing up to join On My Team16 as it takes on new heights.

In less than a month, the tallest building in Syracuse will be helping the organization raise thousands of dollars for families fighting pediatric cancer.

NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla got a first-look inside this year’s climb.

20 flights of stairs and 338 steps. Each one brings kids battling cancer closer to a sense of hope.

“I think something like this shows the kids like yeah we are thinking about you, praying for you, and we’re doing everything we can to help you,” said Jack Sheridan, the inspiration for On My Team16.

“It’s a little different than a normal road race or a bike race,” said Jordan Zapisek, the founder of On My Team16 and Jack’s sister.

It’s a climb, up the tallest building in Syracuse. It won’t be easy, but it’s about reaching new heights for those who physically can’t.

Each floor is dedicated to someone who’s battling cancer, someone who beat it, or someone who was taken far too soon.

“It is a physical event but it’s also really inspiring and really rewarding,” said Zapisek.

When you get about halfway up and feel like you just can’t keep climbing, remember there are children going through an even harder struggle every single day, and those children will be waiting for you cheering you on.

“I think it really is motivational on both ends,” said Zapisek. “The kids also who are standing on the floor, if they’re healthy enough to be there, see all these people climbing for them. It’s like ‘wow all of these people in the Syracuse community have my back and are here to support me.'”

With each step and each flight, climbers will be showing local kids battling cancer, they’ve got something to fight for.

Jack Sheridan was diagnosed with Leukemia during his sophomore year at Christian Brothers Academy. After years of fighting the disease, he’s now cancer-free and a student-athlete at Le Moyne College.

After beating cancer himself, Jack knows how important and how meaningful an event like this is for these kids. “Keep fighting, you just gotta get through it,” he said.

If you’re taking part in The Climb, when you’re running out of steam, keep climbing, because kids fighting cancer don’t have the option to stop.

The Climb is taking place on Nov. 23. The runner’s heat will begin at 10 a.m., opening ceremonies will take place at 11 a.m., and the walker’s heat will begin at 12 p.m.

Runners and walkers will pay a $35 registration fee if they sign up before Nov. 1, after that the fee will be $40.

To sign up click here.

There’s less than a month until you can climb. In the meantime, as you drive by downtown Syracuse on I-690, you’ll now see the On My Team16 flag flying high atop the State Tower building.

Staff changed the flag on Oct. 25, but it’s not always an easy switch. It comes down to safety, which is why they can’t always swap one out for the SU flag on game day or lower a flag to half staff. Weather often plays a role and the window at over 300′ feet in the air is much different than street level.

Staff with the State Tower building tell NewsChannel 9:

“The flag has to be maneuvered around the guide wires and if the rope is wrapped around the pole and it is windy, there are times that it is just not possible to change out for the SU games. Our staff do their best to lower the flag to half-staff as well. This is usually a bit easier than changing out the flag, as we don’t have to worry about the flag getting entangled in the guide wires, but this is not always possible either. We mean no disrespect in not lowering it, but the safety of our team is our top priority.”

For more local news follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter/NeSommavilla.

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