10-Year Champion: Sameer Shakya

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Sameer Shakya didn’t realize he was gearing up for a decade of commitment when he participated in the Wellspring Firefighter Stairclimb in 2015.

“That first year I just signed up for the climb – thought I’d enjoy the challenge,” said the cyber security professional who is also an ultra-marathoner and seasonal cyclist. “But the day had a big impact on me so I decided to reach out to Wellspring and see what else I could offer to the event.”

That was 10 years ago and every year since, Sameer has held a pivotal role in the stairclimb, beginning with event advocate, and eventually heading up the events committee.

A recently retired 14-year firefighter, Sameer Shakya is aware of the cancer risks that come with the profession he devoted many years to, and he has witnessed struggle and loss of family and friends diagnosed with cancer over the years.

“My mom had breast cancer years ago but luckily it was caught early and with treatment there was a positive outcome, but when a really good friend of mine lost his wife to cancer, that had a pretty big impact on me,” said Shameer.

That friend and his wife found support at Wellspring… an organization Sameer respects and holds dear to his heart.

“I haven’t had to utilize Wellspring resources myself, but I know how many people turn to Wellspring when they are fighting cancer and I know it’s there to support caregivers as well. If I can play a small role in helping make sure Wellspring is there for the people who need it – that makes me feel good.”