GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — Firefighters risk their lives daily responding to dangerous calls. They’re also fighting things they can’t see, like cancer.
A group will walk across the state to raise money and awareness for the men and women battling that disease right now.
It’s called Walk for the Red. Members of a nonprofit called Neighbors United want to help 56 firefighters in the state with medical expenses and other needs.
The founder of the walk says they need $280,000 to do that.
“If the public wants to be heroes for once and help the firefighters that will always answer the call, they can make a donation so we can financially help get these people back on their feet or just give them a little break,” Macomb Township firefighter and founder of Walk for the Red, Joseph Warren said. “Some of these guys will go have chemo yesterday and they’ll be at work on Friday and still answer the call.”
According to the CDC, occupational cancer is the leading cause of death for these first responders though the nonprofit is helping any firefighter in the state who gets a cancer diagnosis, even if it’s not job-related.
“If you have cancer, no matter where it’s from, we want to help these men and women in the fire service because they give so much and they don’t ask for anything,” Warren said.
The 140-mile walk will start in Macomb Township at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 7. They will make it to the Grand Rapids area on Sunday, September 10.
Before the walk, the community will gather for a parade to honor the firefighters who have died from cancer.
If you would like to donate, you can visit the Neighbors United website.