ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa firefighter battling rare cancer contracted on job, raising awareness

Oct 6, 2020, 4:45 AM | Updated: 2:47 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – For the past 13 years, Trevor Madrid has fought fires in the city of Mesa. Now he’s been taken off a firetruck to fight for his life.

In March 2019, Madrid was 33 years old when diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called synovial sarcoma. Since, he has worked to find the best possible course of action to fight such a rare cancer that only one to three people out of 1 million are said to contract.

“My treatment plan has been super crazy,” Madrid told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “There are days that my treatment plans change multiple times in one day.”

On Monday, he started his first round of chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic followed by a round of radiation at Scottsdale-based Vincere Cancer Center.

The cancer center has dedicated its time and resources to helping screen Valley firefighters for cancer free of charge in hopes of preventing cancer in the fire service by catching it early.

“I’ve been on the job going on 13 years and I absolutely love it besides the unfortunate part of getting cancer,” Madrid said with a smile, as he described how he was diagnosed.

Playing with his daughter on the couch one day, she kicked him in his side.

Curled over in pain, Madrid was shocked at how hard she kicked him and the pain it caused. After several days of the prolonged pain, his pregnant wife encouraged him to go get checked out.

That’s when a CT scan showed a mass inside his abdomen. He was immediately transferred to get a biopsy.

“Everything was just unraveling from there – before we even got the results, the doctor told me it’s either lymphoma, testicular cancer or a sarcoma,” Madrid said.

At that point, that’s when Madrid and his wife accepted the reality of how prevalent cancer is in the fire service.

Following his diagnosis with synovial sarcoma, Madrid was recommended to find a specialized team. That’s when Madrid was connected with Dr. Vershalee Shukla at Vincere Cancer Center.

“She changed the course of my life and got me connected with who I needed, she’s just an amazing person,” Madrid said.

Following several rounds of both chemotherapy and radiation in the Valley, the 35-year-old has two surgeries planned in December with a specialist in New York. The plan is to remove the remainder of the sarcoma.

In the meantime, Madrid has committed to staying positive for his family with a wife and two young children. He is also dedicated to bringing awareness to cancer in the fire service.

“I’ve been putting myself out there a lot on TikTok, I have close to 150,000 followers on there – just trying to bring awareness of firefighters having cancer,” He said. “My biggest thing is to be positive going through this.”

The city of Mesa has approved Trevor Madrid’s worker’s compensation claim, deeming his cancer a direct result from his work environment.

In addition, the East Valley Fire Fighter Charities has created a GoFundMe page to support his travel expenses to New York and to support his family during this time.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...
Wills Rice

Tucson man sentenced 17 years for fentanyl sale resulting in death

A Tucson man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for selling drugs containing fentanyl that led to the death of a young man, authorities said.
20 hours ago
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Iowa man accused of making election-related threats to Arizona officials

An Iowa man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly sending election-related threats to two Arizona officials last year, including Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, authorities said.
20 hours ago
(Facebook Photos/ Senator Mark Kelly, Blake Masters for Senate and...
KTAR.com

Watch: Arizona US Senate candidates Kelly, Masters, Victor share debate stage

With the start of early voting a week away, Arizona’s three U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to share the stage Thursday in a live debate.
20 hours ago
Bryant James Walker (Chandler Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Stalking, public indecency suspect arrested by Chandler police

Police in Chandler said Thursday they arrested a Mesa man suspected of public indecency and felony stalking.
20 hours ago
(Abrazo Health Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Abrazo West Campus acquires Arizona’s 1st Loop-X robot to assist spine surgeries

Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear is adding the new Loop-X robot to assist doctors in spine surgery operating rooms.
20 hours ago
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, speaks during a Democratic Par...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs says about Arizona abortion laws

Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for Arizona governor, said the state’s near-total abortion ban goes against the will of the people and she’d work to change it if elected.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Mesa firefighter battling rare cancer contracted on job, raising awareness