On Sunday, 15 November 2015, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy stormed up the 88 levels of the Eureka tower in the impressive time of 16 minutes, 52 seconds.

It was the second year in succession that Jaxon Urlichs from Manor Lakes in Melbourne’s north-west had pounded up the 1,642 steps that make the Eureka Climb the nation’s biggest vertical race. This year, his time was somewhat better than last year’s 17 minutes.

The climb attracts thousands of endurance athletes from all over the country and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. This year’s event raised more than $250,000 and attracted over 2,500 entrants.

Jaxon, a Year Nine student at MacKillop College in Werribee, lives with cystic fibrosis (CF).

To suggest that he thrives on endurance events would be a gross understatement. In addition to his outstanding performances in the Eureka Climb, last year he completed the Q1 Stair Challenge, a mere 77 floor climb at a Gold Coast high-rise.

Earlier this year he also completed the Stadium Stomp which comprises 7,500 steps up and down levels 1 and 3 at the MCG. At the time he was infected with pseudomonas but only needed the inhaled antibiotic Tobi. Despite having pseudomonas, Jaxon had not lost weight, his lung function was not down nor was he feeling unwell so he was able to complete this gruelling event in just over one hour, including a sprint at the finish.

Jaxon’s mother, Megan, father, John and younger brother Logan, have watched in awe as Jaxon takes on every new challenge without faltering.

It all began in 2014 when Megan arranged a four-kilometre charity fun-run for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

“Jaxon was going to walk the distance but then ran with a friend and managed, with no training, to run three and a half of the four kilometres,” said Megan. “Jaxon said at the end he really wanted to do the Eureka Climb so he and our friend trained together.”

His calendar of events now includes ten kilometre fun-runs. The week before the Eureka Climb he ran in the Great Strides event for CFV and the week after he ran in the Spring into Shape charity run.

With his daily training and regular events, there has been little need for physiotherapy as his lung function continues to strengthen.

Megan, a primary teacher and personal trainer says; “unlike many CF kids, Jaxon has been really lucky and only ever had one hospital admission and that was when he was ten years old.”

He was diagnosed at five weeks and, like most parents, Megan and John were shocked by the news. They later discovered that one of Megan’s distant relatives in northern NSW has a daughter with CF.

Fortunately Jaxon’s CF is relatively mild and his daily routine of medication is not as intensive as many others.

Younger brother, Logan, who is thirteen, does not have CF. “There are times,” says Megan, “when he reminds Jaxon to take his Creons (enzymes). Other than that, it’s a normal brotherly relationship.”

Logan has not yet become involved in endurance activities – he enjoys playing basketball and is deeply committed to his Xbox.

Apart from his endurance events, what else occupies Jaxon’s time? Like most highly motivated people living with CF, his day at school is only part of an amazingly hectic routine.

As Megan explains; “We have a very busy schedule – Jaxon has acting lessons, plays basketball in both under 18s and men’s with his dad – and there are piano lessons on the other days.”

It might come as a surprise to learn that Jaxon does not have aspirations to be an elite athlete; his ambition is to be an actor and writer.

His achievements recently came to the attention of local Member of Parliament and Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, who wrote Jaxon a letter of congratulations.