Communities unite as they
donate to help a firefighter
Nine-year Lake Stevens firefighter and paramedic veteran, Kurt Middleton noticed a lump on the left side of his neck this past July.
Concerned, he went in for a check-up and was later diagnosed on Sept. 17, with stage four head and neck cancer. Middleton underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and shortly thereafter began his chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Fellow Lake Stevens Fire Department firefighter Pat Cook said that insurance only covers so much, and then there are other costs after the treatment and during recovery that are not covered.
“We’re all proud people, but sometimes you have to ask for help,” Cook said.
The event was spearheaded by Josh Olsen and Jeff Cole of the Marysville Professional Firefighters and F.L.A.I.M. (Firefighters Lending Assistance in Marysville) in this inaugural event.
We’ve done a lot of fundraisers, but this is the first time we’ve done an organized event like this,” Cole said.
Because firefighters look at each other as one big family, it didn’t matter which station the firefighter in need of help was stationed..
“We are all brothers and sisters,” Cook said.
“Along with serving Lake Stevens, he (Middleton) has also helped the Marysville community. When our medic units are unavailable due to call volume, he and other Lake Stevens medics come down and provide a service to the constituents of Marysville,” Olsen said in a letter.
The turn-out for the event was underway and off to a fast start with many people stopping by to donate, have a meal and contribute additional monies, or to have their picture taken with a firefighter and the new ladder truck which was on display at the restaurant.
“Everything has been awesome, we have had anywhere from 35 to 40 volunteers at any given time come out and help,” Olsen stated.
The volunteers were everywhere and anywhere, from waiting on and bussing tables, to doing dishes, if that’s where they were needed.
“The pictures have been a huge it,” Cole said.
Additional donations for Middleton and his family can be made at the Lake Stevens Fire Department Local 3235 by contacting Pat Cook at 425-334-3034.
Cook said that they are all thankful for the generosity of the public in their time of need.