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Glendale firefighter once denied benefits starts stem cell transplant

Glendale Fire Capt. Kevin Thompson (KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — A new birthday. That’s what a 26-year veteran of the Glendale Fire Department called Thursday, as he prepared to start his stem cell replacement journey.

Kevin Thompson has fought for his life and health care benefits since April when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in certain white blood cells.

His cancer was deemed to be a direct result of his job in hazardous duty.

Initially denied workers’ compensation from the city of Glendale, Thompson’s transplant was postponed, essentially prolonging what his doctors called “a life-saving procedure.”

“The difference that the stem cell transplant will make on my health is going to be huge. … Literally, this is potentially going to give me 15 or 20 more years of life,” Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM ahead of his first surgery.

After the near five-month delay in receiving benefits from the city, Thompson got the call in September that his denied workers’ compensation claim was being overturned. His doctors then told him “go, go, go.”

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