RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A Raleigh man who went from fighting fires to fighting cancer is now fighting for easier access to cancer treatment.
The Firefighters Fighting Cancer Act, or House Bill 520, passed the North Carolina House this summer, but is stalled in the Senate.
“We’re the ones that you call to help when people are in these dangerous situations around these toxic chemicals. Somebody has got to do it. If you want them to come do the job, you need to be willing to help them out if they need it,” said Brent Upton.
Upton always wanted to help people. He thought joining the Raleigh Fire Department in 2006 was the perfect fit.
However, his 12-year career came to an abrupt end last May after feeling a sharp pain in his side. After testing and a biopsy, doctors diagnosed Upton with esophageal cancer.
“It shocked us. We had no idea. That was the last thing I’d thought he’d say it was,” said the 36-year-old.