South Carolina Firefighters Need Your Help
S 1071 Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan
Over the last several months, several fire service organizations from across the state have come together to for the South Carolina Firefighter Cancer Coalition. Together, they formed the Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan that has recently been introduced on the SC Senate floor. Click Here to learn more about S 1071 Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan, and the effect it will have on the future of the Firefighter Family here in South Carolina.
Did you know Carney was a Leap Year Baby!?! Yes indeed, he was born February 29, 1976, a few weeks past his due date. And, unless it was an actual leap year, he wasn't big on celebrating his birthday. It just so happens, this year is a Leap Year. So, here at Carney Strong Initiative, we want to celebrate. Though Josh isn't here to celebrate with us, we want to carry on the tradition of sharing gifts for his birthday.
Each Sunday we will post a gift to give away, and will randomly select on lucky recipient on Saturday morning (via Facebook Live). Each week we will share new posts on Social Media, ask you to Like and Comment to be entered into the drawing at the end of the week. There will be gifts for the individual each week, leading up to a large gift(s) to be donated to a fire department somewhere across the country!
Individual gifts will be randomly selected from those entries via
"Like and Comment" on Facebook. The Department gifts will be
selected from those entries submitted through the Entry Form (link below).
Carney's Birthday Bash - Gift Giveaway!
Josh and Shayla - February 29, 2012
His favorite gift of all time: hand-painted artwork from his daughter
Each Saturday morning, a Carney Strong Volunteer will go Live on Facebook to select the weekly winner. So make sure you are following us on Facebook. Shared posts must be public in order for your name to be entered into the weekly drawing.
Note, this Gift Giveaway is separate from those grant requests that have already been submitted. If you are interested in the gift giveaway, you will need to complete the form.
Thoughts From a Firefighter Widow
41 years, 7 months, and 21 days on earth. That is how long Josh was alive for. Lucky for me, I was a part of his life for 24 years and 12 days. But our daughter Shayla, well she got robbed with only 16 years, 10 months, and 25 days with her dad. That is the reality of firefighter cancer. We didn't catch his cancer early. By the time he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma (malignant), it had already spread throughout his body with a vengeance. Cancer has stolen so much from us, this is a story I wish upon no one.
Thankfully though, not all firefighter cancer stories take the same path as ours. So often you hear about the firefighters who kicked cancer to the curb and are back on shift, or who are enjoying retirement. I like those stories, even if they aren't mine. Of course, I will not lie, I wish every day our family cancer story had a different ending. But that is not the reality we live in, is it. I have never been the type of person to sit in silence with something that weighs me down. I believe, actually I know, that is one of the reasons why Josh fell in love with me so long ago. I am not one to just take the waves without punching back. I couldn't stop his cancer, I couldn't save us from this tragedy. But I can do something for others. I can and I will speak up. I will advocate prevention.
The Carney Strong Initiative isn’t just helping fire departments throughout the country with their cancer prevention methods. It isn’t just about healing my broken heart. Each widow grieves differently. Each family, each department, each brother grieves in their own way. And I have learned that with a simple act of kindness, to give back to someone you don’t know, well that helps with the healing for everyone. And if we are able to prevent this tragedy from happening to any other fire family, well that is the greatest gift of all.
This past October 19th, was the 2 year anniversary of Josh's death. With the support and generosity of so many, Carney Strong was able to stop by 30 fire departments across the country to make small donations of Responder Wipes and educational material to help improve cancer prevention methods within the departments. It fills my heart with such joy to see others help us spread the message, and further our mission to ensure Everyone Goes Home.