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

Wellness Corner by Debbie Pike

Welcome back to the Wellness Corner! In this newsletter. I’d like to introduce you to Dan Dunnigan, who is an FCSN Mentor with an amazing story.

Dan retired from the San Francisco Fire Department in March of 2016 after 15 years in the SFFD, where he served as an engine operator and temporary lieutenant. He loved his job! While swimming one morning in June 2013 with his swim team, Dan suffered a grand mal seizure in the pool. Luckily, his lane partner held him up out of the water and called for help. Everyone at the pool, especially the swimmers, saved his life. He remembers waking up in an ambulance and being rushed to Marin General Hospital.

After his initial brain scan, he was sent to the University of California San Francisco, and had brain surgery shorty after. His tumor was in the front left lobe (Oligodendroglia, grade ll). Dan continues to follow up twice a year for his MRI and evaluations with his neurologist. He has been on anti-seizure medication since his surgery in 2013. Dan is forever grateful for the level of care that he has received.

Dan is now a volunteer for the Fire Cancer Support Network as a Mentor because he wants to continue giving back and mentoring other firefighters and first responders that are living through cancer and brain surgery. While Dan loved is job with the SFFD, he also loves his new job helping others that have cancer. Learning how to listen and remain calm are two traits that he used as a San Francisco Firefighter. Per Dan, “Applying my skills to the FCSN is just one small way that I can easily help! Thank you FCSN for this opportunity!”