Fundraiser held for Asheville firefighter fighting uphill cancer - FOX Carolina 21

Fundraiser held for Asheville firefighter fighting uphill cancer battle

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ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Will Willis has been a firefighter for 15 years. He’s worked at the Asheville Fire Department for the last 8 years. His cousin, Josh Jenkins is also on the Asheville Department and the two have always been close.

"We still live very close to one another,” said Jenkins, “He's got four children and I have two. They continue to do what we did when we were little."

Willis was diagnosed in April with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. Doctors have given him just months to live.

"He's been diagnosed with translocation renal cell carcinoma,” explained Jenkins, “There are no known cures. There's no real treatment. They don't offer chemo or radiation necessarily."

That's why Willis' firefighting family is holding a fundraiser at the Green Man Brewery Friday in downtown Asheville.

Proceeds from the event which features a special beer in honor of Willis, a silent auction and t-shirts will go directly to help the Willis family.

"We want everybody to come out,” said Spencer Tetrault, an engineer with the department, “We want them to see what we can do and how we can help one another in times of need."

Despite the diagnosis, Willis’ captain, Bjorn Larson, says he's still running calls with his fellow firefighters.

"It's been humbling to say the least,” said Larson, “Just to see his strength and his ability to persevere."

Jenkins says his cousin will continue doing what he has done since they were kids, fight.

"We don't know which way this fight is going to go, but he is continuing to fight,” said Jenkins, “We're going to continue to support him."

The event starts 5:00 p.m. at the Green Man Brewery in Asheville December 15th. Another event, a corn hole tournament is being held January 6th at 12:00 p.m. Contact Stevie Sims (828) 712-0759 to sign up.

A GoFundMe can be found here.

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