Updates from the front lines in the fight against occupational cancer in the fire service.

Mentor Spotlight: Captain Michael Moomey

Michael Moomey is a Captain for Roanoke Fire-EMS. Michael has worked in Roanoke for 14 years. He’s a devoted husband and proud father of 2 sons. His introduction to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network took place at an officer’s summit that he attended. Prior to the conference he was unaware that FCSN existed. The speaker spoke of his “journey”, his fears, his realizations and ultimately his recovery. He went on to tell of the FCSN, our mission and what we offer to individuals and/or family during the uncomfortable times that can occur after a cancer diagnosis.

Approximately a year prior to attending that event Michael received his cancer diagnosis and couldn’t help but think how valuable this resource would be to his family as well as himself.

In November 2015, he was diagnosed with lentigo melanoma on his face. The melanoma was removed along with a lymph node from his neck. He received a clean bill of health after surgery. After a large sigh of relief, he went on to change a lot about his life both on and off “the job”. He’s become a huge advocate for engaging in decon and contamination mitigation on the fire scene along with changes in the way that he takes care of my own well-being in general.

This occurrence had a massive impact on his life. Even after being more vigilant and turning over a new leaf in life, he has since had 3 more melanomas removed. He now knows what he’s up against, how to navigate the issue and what impact this has on his work and personal life.

This knowledge is invaluable to him now, making it easier for him and his family to digest the situation and successfully move through it. This is why he initially showed interest in becoming a Mentor with the FCSN. He cannot imagine what an asset it would’ve been to be able to speak and relate to another that was in the same, or similar situation, to the one he was going through.