Saving Firefighters with Cancer 

Why not Respond Fast to First-Responders?
By E. Malik

Firefighters – the emergency response workers in a uniform who rush to the site of the attack in the fastest time possible on your first call – at the end of the day, are humans. They look quite sturdy and invincible with their heavy helmets and enormous tools. They jump into the fire to keep you and your belongings safe, away from being scalded and damaged irreparably. They are tuned to respond at your beck and call, as that is their job to keep you safe.

Amidst all of this, we easily forget that firefighters, after all, are humans. They have essentially the same human anatomy and the same dangers to life and property as any of us. They, like us, are vulnerable to life-threatening diseases like cancers. 

#walkforthered140 – Saving Firefighters with Cancer 

Joseph Warne is a firefighter who works for the Macomb Township Firefighter department. When he is not extinguishing fires statewide, he is hosting a fundraiser walk to fight poverty, cancer, and other causes amongst his fellow firefighters. The #walkforthered140 is an annual event where firefighters walk 140 miles in full gear from Macomb to Cascade to the Grand Rapids area, raising funds for firefighters silently battling cancer statewide.

They train themselves by walking 3 to 5 miles every day with a 50-pound weight vest. Once a week, they trek 10 to 12 miles, whereas, on other days, they train with lighter weights. Warne also believes that by doing this, they remain the fittest firefighters of the state.

Thanks to several donors who contributed to the cause, the funding was around $37,800 before the walk. However, this year, with bottle drives and online fundraising like signature events, doubled that figure. They had raised a whopping $75,000 alongside the addition of three more firefighters battling cancer on their list of earlier 14 patients.

Battling with Fire is Different from Fighting Cancer

September 2021, the third annual, was one of the best walks that Warne had witnessed. Not only did they reach a massive milestone, but they also stopped by the Lansing memorial to attend the 9/11 memorial service. They touched a piece of steel from the World Trade Center and had citizens and many other firefighters join in the walk from different parts of the city.

Imagine this; a group of tough firefighters, all dressed up in their complete gear, strolling through the streets in a group. It would be quite a splendid sight. It’s a pity that they have to come out to the streets to bring attention to such a grave cause. Donations are open year-round, so try not to wait to witness the walk before you fork out your share to help the ones that help us. 

For more of the story –> 140 Mile Trek for Firefighters

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