SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday at Spokane Fire Station One, the sound of footsteps filled the stairwells. If you stopped to look, you'd see two young girls scaling the stairs. As they pass, you'd see their determination in their faces.
Their names are Ashley and Kasey Knighten. They took each step towards the future, while remembering their past.
"I imagine him actually doing the stair climb in full gear," Kasey said.
Their dad was John Knighten, a Spokane firefighter who died last year from a blood plasma cancer called multiple myeloma.
Even while fighting cancer, John used to train for long stair climbing events. Now 11-year-old Kasey and 13-year-old Ashley are following in their father's footsteps.
"I feel really honored and everyday I wear my dad's badge number just to give me inspiration because he did it six months after his first transplant and if he can do it when he's like that, I'm pretty sure I can," Ashley said.
The girls are part of Team Knighten, a group heading to Seattle next weekend to try and climb 69 floors. It will take more than 1300 steps.
"I'm proud of them. This is a lot to take on, especially at their age," their mother Shawna Knighten said.
The event raises money for the leukemia and lymphoma society, for people like John Knighten.
"I wish he could see them," Shawna said. "I know he'd be so proud of them, and the girls are really honored to get to do this for their dad."
His daughters have trained since January. They've raised more than $8,000 and found out just how much their dad meant to this community.
"Normally wouldn't think that many people would pay attention to one family because it happens to a ton of families," Ashley said.
Their teammates include Roger Libby, a Spokane firefighter who honors his brothers by climbing everyday. He carries a picture of John Knighten every step of the way.
"I saw that friends of John had started this Team Knighten and it just seemed like a natural thing to do, to represent John Knighten and climb in his honor," Libby said.
These girls won't let up, their dad never did. Each step, on a journey to honor their father that will last a lifetime.
"We're doing this so we can help raise money and awareness so that another family doesn't have to go through what we did," Ashley said.
"We're doing something that's really good for other people, and I feel that my dad would be really proud of us," Kasey said.
You can find information on how to donate to Team Knighten on this page: http://www.llswa.org/site/TR?team_id=53999&fr_id=1390&pg=team
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