PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) — It’s been nearly a year since Midway Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Josh Carney died battling cancer.
Sunday, his family and fellow firefighters are kept his name and legacy alive, by raising awareness of firefighter occupational cancer, meaning cancer that may be linked to being a firefighter.
“I don’t want anyone’s wife to go through this,” said Lillian Carney, Josh’s wife.
That emotional message is something she shares with firefighters across the country, urging them to step up their cancer prevention efforts.
Together Lillian and Josh’s cousin Kristine have teamed together to create, the Carney Strong Initiative, helping small and rural fire departments get materials and supplies that could help prevent cancer or firefighters, things that Carney believes could’ve saved her husband’s life had they known about the risks.
The initiative was named after Josh Carney, who lost his battle to cancer at the young age of 41.
“To get cancer prevention items like the wipes and the soap, the detox is going to be put to really good use,” said Midway Fire Chief, Doug Eggiman.
This year Josh’s family saw his number 646 retired at the station and received a letter from President Donald Trump, but they said this donation in Josh’s honor was something special.
“This is something that Kristine and I plan to do for long term into the future and every month we get to pick a new department and get to decide where next to go and who else can we help,” said Carney.
Kristine Munck raised over $1,400 to buy products like responder wipes that remove smoke and debris from the face and skin, as well as detox supplements which help flush out toxins inside the body, all of which she said can be found online.
For Lillian, it’s even more important that firefighters use these supplies as often as they can, praying no spouse ever has to go through the pain her family has.
“Don’t let your wife be handed an American flag, don’t let one of these guys hand your daughter her father’s helmet,” said Carney.
If you’re interesting in partnering or donating to the Carney Strong Initiative click here.
The Carney Strong Initiative plans to visit Ohio and Florida later this year and continue to receive requests from stations throughout the country.
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