Support is surging for a New Jersey fireman, ICU nurse and father of three after a late-stage cancer diagnosis.
William Garcia, 34, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma last August, according to a GoFundMe launched in his support.
Garcia, a father of three and 12-year volunteer member of the Byram Fire Department, had his lymph nodes removed in late December, leading him and his family to believe that the cancer was gone.
“A PET Scan soon after showed no signs of cancer anywhere in his body and we all thought he was clear of cancer,” reads the fundraiser, launched by Kenneth McHugh. “Unfortunately, this was not the case.”
Garcia was re-diagnosed with the late-stage disease in mid-February following a bout of symptoms including fatigue and appetite loss, the page says.
The Melanoma has started to travel through Garcia’s lungs, spleen and liver as a result of the tumor, which “runs from under his left arm to his clavicle,” the fundraiser says.
Garcia, who has been working as a Cardiothoracic ICU nurse at Newark Hospital, is known for his caring and compassionate nature.
“William brings life into any room he is in and you can always find him helping anyone he can, as also shown in his career choices,” reads the fundraiser, which had garnered more than $35,000 in less than 24 hours.
“He would do anything for anyone. He is a walking hero having saved many lives in his professional career — I think it’s time we save his.”
The Byram Township Fire Department also shared its condolences following Garcia’s diagnosis.
“Will is one of the firefighters that rarely misses a call,” reads a Wednesday morning Facebook post from the department. “He is here for the community in the brightest of days and darkest of hours. Although his sunshine is temporarily clouded over, we will rally around him and make sure it is always sunny.”
The funds will be used for Garcia’s treatment, which is expected to last several months, as well as support for his wife, Jessica, and their three children — Chelsea, 14, Cayden, 12, and Cole, six.
“The financial costs they are about to face are staggering, but that is hopefully where we can come in and make sure all they have to focus on is fighting the disease,” the page says.
“We will not give up without a fight.”
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