Giving Tuesday: Valley firefighters step up to help fire captain with cancer
PHOENIX — Giving Tuesday is known for activism and charitable giving. But it came a day early and with a twist for one Valley fire captain, when a group of firefighters showed up in his front yard.
Mesa Fire Capt. and Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona President Bryan Jeffries is battling cancer that is believed to be a direct result from his job as firefighter.
Continuing intense chemotherapy, Jeffries was unable to hang Christmas lights on his house.
But that changed after his family was approached by a group of fellow Valley firefighters who wanted to help one of their own in a big way.
Jeffries described to KTAR News 92.3 FM what led to this act of kindness.
“Phoenix Fire Capt. Ray Maione asked my niece Lacey if we had any needs over at the house while I’m undergoing my cancer treatments,” he said.
Maione is the vice president of United Phoenix Firefighters, Local 493. He arranged for a group of firefighters to take the burden off Jeffries ahead of the holiday.
“Lacey told him, we don’t have any Christmas lights on the house because Bryan can’t get up on a ladder right now,” Maione said.
Diagnosed in September with testicular cancer, Jeffries was in the middle of his work at the state level working to better protect firefighters from contracting cancer on the job.
“There’s a lot of risk that comes along with being a firefighter, including, unfortunately, this cancer,” Jeffries added.
“But one of the great rewards is being a part of one of the greatest families on earth, and they sure showed it the other day.”
A total of 30 firefighters were in his front yard with ladders ready to help.
“It was just so overwhelming,” Jeffries said. “I was just so blown away. The fellas and gals that showed up were just amazing. I can’t ever thank them enough.”