Firefighters aid their own in cancer fights

Posted at 11:43 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 13:22:45-05

It’s an epic failure by Michigan lawmakers to help our heroes. Politicians passed a law to help firefighters with cancer treatment, but they have never funded it - and firefighters are paying the price.

It’s a problem we’ve been exposing all week long,

Three million dollars, that’s what is at stake here.

While lawmakers try to find the money, real heroes, firefighters, are getting sick and when they do, fellow firefighters are the ones coming to their aid.

Highland Park firefighter Hugo Gomez admits he loves fighting fires. The flames, the heat, the danger. It’s a rush and it nearly cost him his life.

When the father found out he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was devastated-- but he couldn’t afford to quit or even take time off.

During his treatment, the first responder cancer presumption law passed, only it did him no good, the fund was dry.

So his fellow firefighters picked up the slack,

Politicians couldn’t find $3 million in a $55 billion budget to help our heroes, but they did find money for new senate offices - swanky offices with views of the capitol, a private entry – even a TV studio!

The annual mortgage payment is $3.4 million.

Even with insurance, cancer treatment can be expensive. The fund was passed to cover the gap.

Instead, his firefighting family helped, holding fundraisers, and picking up his shifts.

Gomez’s cancer also did something else. It taught all of them, the real danger isn’t always the flames themselves, but what’s in them.

A rally is planned in Lansing Tuesday. Firefighters from across the state are expected to attend. The goal, get this issue put up a vote, so the funding can happen.