VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Firefighters put their lives on the line to serve their communities every day.
They don’t just battle fire. They are constantly battling for their health.
The leading cause of death for firefighter is cancer, and the CDC said it’s likely due to their exposure to smoke and hazardous chemicals.
It’s after a cancer blood test, that Matt Gallina, a Virginia Beach firefighter, recently received the heartbreaking diagnosis.
“His results didn’t come back in a positive fashion. He is currently in the advanced stages of esophageal cancer,” said Kevin Raad, Pups and Pints Partner.
He’s undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy locally, but soon he’ll go miles away for more treatments.
“He’s already done four rounds,” Raad said. “He is getting ready to head down to Texas for the big one more rounds and possibly surgery.”
Matt’s family reached out to Raad, a friend and partner of Pups and Pints.
Raad had a plan up his sleeve to help his family.
“We think it’s very important to give back to our community,” he said.
Pups and Pints is hosting a fundraiser for Matt and his family Oct. 20.
There’s a $20 entry fee and there will be a silent auction, raffle prizes and drink specials, all to raise money to help Matt battle cancer.
“This is a small token that we can do to give back to them to show we support them,” Raad said. “All the proceeds are going straight to them.”
The money will help get Matt down to Texas and make sure his wife and three kids will be by his side.
If you can’t make it, there is a GoFundMe where you can donate to help. Click here if you’d like to donate.