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|Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012|
Code 3 For A Cure 2010
Since June of 2008, the Code 3 for a Cure Foundation has crossed the country on a mission of honor and hope.
The purpose of the Code 3 for a Cure journey is to:
• Honor and remember those firefighters who have lost their lives to cancer (whether they were active or retired), because it was they who paved the way, through their service and sacrifice, to the safer equipment and procedures used by the firefighters of today.
• Raise awareness about the prevalence of firefighting related cancers.
• Give hope, support and encouragement to firefighters and others who are fighting their own personal battle against cancer and in so doing let them know they are not alone.
This year, members were on the road for more than a month and logged almost 21,000 miles, stopping at fire stations across the nation to tell their survivor stories and urge firefighters to get early cancer screenings. Weather and traffic accidents were two hazards they faced on this year's journey, but that did not stop them.
"This mission was a lot different because i picked up a lot more firefighters who were diagnosed with cancer, currently fighting cancer, and some of their survivors," explained the President and Founder of the Foundation, Lorenzo Abundiz.
Captain Bob Silverthorne with the Salt Lake City Fire Department expressed, "I am a cancer survivor. As of two years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I had three months chemotherapy, three weeks radiation and two surgeries. And as of last June I don't show any signs of residual recurrent cancer."
Kevin Oldham, a 33 year old firefighter battling pancreatic cancer from Waukegan, Illinois, recently joined the mission.
According to President/Chaplain of Firefighters for Christ International and LAFD Fire Department member, John White, Oldham now has cancer in the lining of his lungs and stomach, but is still bravely fighting. "His wife said it was just a thrill for him to be able to be between treatments and be able to go on that ride. We just really need to get the word out and support any way we can to stand against this disease that's taking our guys," White added.
To support Kevin, firefighters in Indio, California gave Bob Silverthorne a special haircut - a Mohawk. After receiving his haircut, Silverthorne stated, "The firefighters in Waukegan as well as now Salt Lake City, are sporting Mohawks to support Kevin in his battle. I don't really even know the guy. I've never met him, but I just wanted to encourage him and support him in his fight."
Lorenzo is doing the same with personal contact. "When you're talking one on one to a person and that person has cancer and they know you have, yeah it's the most efficient way to get the word out," said John White. John knows this on a personal level, as he himself is dealing with cancer. "But, it's under control, I believe, right now," he added. Lorenzo is also doing well after his third battle with cancer, this last time fighting prostate cancer.
"This mission this year is a mission of honor to honor those people who died, basically in the line of duty as cancer victims," declared Bob Silverthorne. "And also to give courage and hope to firefighters across the country who may or may not face cancer diagnosis in their future."
At each stop, the crew collected names of firefighters who have lost their battle with cancer. In front of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Los Angeles, the names were read aloud with the toll of the bell for each name.
According to Captain Steve Ruda of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Code 3 for a Cure is "a one man challenge for thousands of firefighters that are suffering from cancer." Ruda added, "Firefighters, they don't fear much but they do fear the 'c word'." He also stated that when it comes to cancer, early detection is key to survival and firefighters must not be afraid that they are alone, because they have many brothers and sisters in the fire service family that are here to help.
Next September, Lorenzo and other cancer survivors will once again go around the country for Code 3 for a Cure.
For more information about Code 3 for a Cure, visit www.code3foracure.com.
Author:Barbara Brooks - Video, Renée Marquart - Text
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