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

Sustaining Partner Spotlight on PBI Performance Product’s Catalina Ciobanu

Sustaining Partner Spotlight on PBI Performance Product’s Catalina Ciobanu

In July of 2020, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network published its first guidebook, the Firefighters Guide to Cancer Survivorship. The FCSN created this handbook to assist firefighters, EMS personnel and their family members diagnosed with cancer to provide easy access to answers, articles, and testimonials that address some of the basic concerns that surround any cancer diagnosis.

The FCSN is extremely grateful to Catalina Ciobanu, Global Marketing Director for PBI Performance Products, for her time, talent and commitment in creating the design for this unique and highly regarded guidebook.   We asked Catalina to share some of her thoughts on her inspiration for bringing this guidebook to life, what’s she’s learned from firefighters, and why supporting our cause is important to her. Here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to design the Firefighters Guide to Cancer Survivorship?

Today, cancer is the most alarming threat to firefighter health. FCSN’s mission is very close to our hearts. They provide critical support and guidance that firefighters affected by cancer and their loved ones really need. They champion the needs of those living with this devastating disease to make sure they get the best possible advice and support. They campaign for change. That’s why I wanted to be a part of creating the Guide. As a fiber manufacturing company, we strive to raise awareness, promote education and dialogue, and urge adoption of safety practices that reduce firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens. Designing the Guide is a small contribution towards that commitment.

What have you learned working with firefighters? 

After 15 years working in this industry, I’ve learned that firefighting is a calling, not a profession. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. Firefighters really care about the community they serve and take their responsibilities very seriously. Every day, I am in awe of the dedication and the immense pride these men and women have in serving their community.

Why is supporting firefighters diagnosed with cancer important to you?

Everybody, everywhere, has been affected by cancer in some shape or form. Just this year, I lost a very dear friend to cancer that she fought fiercely for 8 years. I saw firsthand how, during this process, emotional, physical and educational support made a huge difference in her wellbeing. I want to be part of the support system for those affected by cancer and their families, friends and caregivers and I want to contribute to inspire others to support the FCSN to meet the demands of their efforts.