WILLOUGHBY - This weekend firefighters are stepping up to help one of their own who is fighting brain cancer.
The second annual Palumbo Pub Crawl is taking place Saturday in Downtown Willoughby. Participants can purchase raffle tickets at various bars for prizes, including a big screen television, bicycle, and autographed sports memorabilia.
The grand prize is either a trip to Disney, Maui or a cash option.
“Firefighters are getting diagnosed with cancers at younger ages and at much higher rates than the general public,” explained Nick Heintz, a Willowick Firefighter and President of the Palumbo Ohio Firefighters Association. “The gear we wear is just a thermal protector so the toxins get in the gear and they get absorbed into our skin while we fight the fire.”
This year’s event benefits Willoughby Firefighter Seamus Culligan, 39, and his family. Back in January Culligan learned he had a golf ball sized tumor in his brain.
He and his wife Cyndie say they are staying positive and are thankful for the support from the firefighters, community and their families.
"It's been very exciting." Culligan said during the event Saturday. "When you see all these people walking around in their volunteer shirts, the green shirts, it's amazing."
Beachwood Fire Capt. Mike Palumbo was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of 2015.
Before his death on May 24, 2017, the husband and father of five took his fight to the state capitol, helping to pass a bill with his name. Signed in January, one day before Seamus’ diagnosis, it allows firefighters to file workers compensation claims for cancer.
As of now, Culligan is not receiving assistance through that law.
Last year, firefighters organized a pub crawl in Willoughby for Mike Palumbo. It was a huge success and those in charge say they are well on their way to surpassing the amount of money raised in 2016.
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