Mukilteo locals raise over $23k in memory of friend
Last updated 3/28/2018 at Noon
Every year in March, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society hosts “The Big Climb,” an event where participants climb the 69-story Columbia Tower in Seattle for cancer research.
Team Mully has been participating in the climb since 2013, in honor of Meagan Mullanix, a 2010 Kamiak grad who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia at 17 and fought cancer a total of five times.
In 2013, Mullanix’s mother and sister participated for the first time. Last year, Mullanix completed the 69-story climb herself.
Last July, Mullanix lost her long-fought battle with cancer at the age of 26.
To keep her spirit alive, friends and family of Mullanix teamed together once again for Team Mully, and as of March 27, raised over $23,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, exceeding their original goal of $15,000.
Callie Turgeon, a long-time friend of Mullanix’s, has participated in The Big Climb for the last five years, and made it to the top in 30 minutes this year.
“It’s draining, both emotionally and physically,” Turgeon said.
Turgeon was friends with Mullanix for 13 years, and played softball with her in middle school and high school. She described Mullanix as an extremely loving person.
“Her spirit never broke,” Turgeon said. “She fought off and on, and was in remission periodically for nine years. She was just the most loving and positive person.”
Turgeon said it was great to see the number of people come together to support Mullanix’s memory.
“It started in 2013 with just her mom and sister, and this year we had 43 people participate,” Turgeon said. “It’s really been a domino effect. It’s slowly grown, but I think this year, after losing Meagan, we wanted to honor her in this way.”
Turgeon said friends, family, and former softball teammates, as well as friends of friends who didn’t really know Mullanix all participated, which Turgeon said was great to see.
“We always say, ‘Let’s love like Meagan,’” Turgeon said. “This is all just a testament of what she stood for. She really made everybody feel like they were the most special person in the world.”
This year, Mullanix’s family was on hand, but didn’t participate in the climb, instead participating in a Team Mully tradition.
“We always have what we called ‘purse holders,’ which has been an extremely important position,” Turgeon said. “This year was a little more important since we had so many more people than in previous years.”
Turgeon said in order to raise money for cancer research, they hosted game nights and bingo nights at various bars as well as at the Mullanix household. She was surprised at a large donation received from the Boulevard Park Place Retirement Community in Burien, which donated more than $2,000.
“They sort of adopted us in all of this,” Turgeon said. “They were a big part of our success.”
Turgeon is still blown away by the support her team received in Mullanix’s memory.
“I just want to say thanks to the community and everyone who supported our team and the Mullanix family since we all lost Meagan,” Turgeon said.
Team Mully is still accepting donations through April 13, and all proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for cancer research.
Turgeon said their new goal is to reach $25,000, and if you wish to help them achieve that goal, you can donate at http://www.llswa.org/goto/TeamMully.