Chip is a firefighter, husband, father, and a friend to many. As many of you know firefighters suffer a higher incidence of cancer compared to the general population. Chip is one of those stricken. Chip and his wife Daniele have been advocates for firefighter cancer awareness for several years. He has not been able to work since June of 2017. Below is a bio written by Daniele please read it and donate to help Chip and his family get through this battle.
Chip and I have been involved with Firefighter Cancer Awareness since 2014. When my partner at work, Jeremy Saunders (best friend)was diagnosed with Cancer we begun this journey. We learned that Florida does not have Presumption laws protecting firefighters and their families. These laws make it possible for First Responders to retire with some medical benefits and not be penalized with a on the job illness. The fact is that 1-3 firefighter will get diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is the number one cause of firefighter deaths. These numbers are alarming. Through the years we have been unsuccessful in getting the bills passed. During these battles i watched my best friend slowly dying from this horrible disease. It was May 29, 2017 when Jeremy decide he was tired and went home to be with God. Due to all the stress from our jobs, losing our firefighter brother we just assumed Chips bowel problems and stomach issues were stress. After multiple medication failures, Chips doctor scheduled a endoscopy and colonoscopy. June 23,2017 is a day that has forever change our lives. The doctor walked into the room, look at both of us and said, " Mr. Shearer I am 99% positive you have colorectal cancer that has perturbed into your fatty tissues and outside your colon wall." As the tears begin to flow neither one of us recall what else was said until the doctor mentioned we had to immediately go get a MRI and a PET scan. These two procedures would be helpful for his immediate surgery. I couldn't breath, my stomach was in knots. I look over at the love of my life and fear I am gonna lose him. We drove home holding hands as we processed everything. I have to say telling our daughters was one of the most difficult things I have had to do in my life. God gave me strength to hold them and help them understand. The next week was filled with appointments and doctors. We received a diagnoses of Stage 3B colorectal cancer with lymph nodes involvement. We would not know the extent of the growth till surgery. On July 5th chip had surgery. They removed 12 1/2 inches of his colo rectal and the surrounding fatty tissues with cancer involvement. The surgery lasted almost 4 hrs. He was admitted into the hospital for the next 5 days to recover. Between our Family, friends, and our church congregation we were able to stay positive. On July 11 we received the second wave of diagnoses. The Cancer is stage 3, the surgeon feels he was able to get most of it. The cancer does involve the lymphatic system so chemo is required. They doctors feel with intense chemo chip has a 73% chance of survivable rate for 5 years. The odds are in his favor, but my concern is the cancer involves the lymphatic system. This system allows blood to travel throughout the entire body. I fear that the cancer could travel, go dormant and show up in another area. This scares me and I try not to worry family with my concerns. So with odds in his favor Chip had his second surgery to place a port into him so he can receive chemo. Chip and I concentrate on remaining positive. Chip especially needs this with his chemo treatments. The chemotherapy he is receiving is every other week. He is scheduled to have 12 treatments. His treatments consist of three different types of chemo over a 3 day period. The treatments make him sick, irritable, and just crappy feeling. Although he tries to put on a tough man face he is getting tired. It is so difficult to see this tough man who has always protected his family become so weak. We hope come February to be completed with chemo and receive a clean scan. Chips goal is to return to work. He misses the fire service so much. He hasn't been able to work since June. Although he had some vacation and sick leave it was not enough to cover his time off. Several coworkers donated time which helped tremendously. What we didn't realize is that his work does not have automatic short term disability. This insurance is a additional buy up. We waited until his long term disability which was October 1st. This will allow him to receive 60% of his pay taxable of course. I will just be grateful for anything as long as something is coming in. I have also realized his health insurance isn't the best, but it does cover about 80% of the medical bills. Since the beginning I have told chip his only concern is to get better. It is my job to pay bills, run the house hold, schedule appointments and work. I am not good at sharing my worries financially or physically. It's my job as his wife to adapt and overcome. God will guide us through these rough waters. For every day is a gift.
We’re here for you Chip SFFS
- Clint Ray
- Nicholas Gumieny
- James Hutching
- Linda Hare
- Michelle Kennedy
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