A cancer diagnosis is a gut punch every time. Not only for the patient receiving the news and contemplating their future but also for their loved ones whose worlds are shaken to the core.
The good news for firefighters and EMS professionals is that they never have to face this fight alone. The Firefighter Cancer Support Network has made sure of that, and the Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation is honored to donate $5,000 to help FCSN continue its incredible work to support our brothers and sisters, as well as their families, to confront cancer with every possible resource at their disposal.
We’ve seen the impact that the Firefighter Cancer Support Network can have because they were massively supportive when our own chief roaster, retired fire captain David McWilliams, was diagnosed with advanced malignant melanoma in 2018.
He’s just one example of the many people whose burdens have been lessened by the services, resources and constant support of Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
FIREFIGHTER CANCER SURVIVORS HELPING OTHERS BECOME SURVIVORS
The Firefighter Cancer Support Network was established in 2005 by Los Angeles County Firefighter Paramedic Michael Dubron, a survivor of stage IV colon cancer. Many of its leaders are also cancer survivors and all are passionate about helping those who are facing the challenges laid before them by a cancer diagnosis.
Sadly, firefighters and EMS professionals are, statistically, at a greater risk than most. Research from the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety shows that firefighters face a 9% higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the average person — and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer.
The first thing that FCSN does when learning of a new diagnosis is deliver, free of charge, a cancer-support toolbox comes with a Firefighter’s Guide to Cancer Survivorship filled with resources to help firefighters and their families cope with the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery phases.
FCSN also offers badge-to-badge peer support, connecting them with one of the network’s 200+ peer support mentors, nearly all of whom are firefighters and cancer survivors. The organization also offers peer-to-peer support for spouses and children, helping them learn to take care of themselves even as they take care of their loved one.
The FCSN website is also a treasure trove of valuable resources focused on awareness, prevention, treatments and more.
We never want to see one of our brothers or sisters diagnosed with cancer, but it’s comforting to know that, thanks to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, they will always have an incredible team supporting them along the way.