Asheville firefighter loses battle with cancer on 34th birthday - FOX Carolina 21

Asheville firefighter loses battle with cancer on 34th birthday

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Firefighter Will Willis and family (file/FOX Carolina) Firefighter Will Willis and family (file/FOX Carolina)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

A western North Carolina firefighter and father passed away on Feb. 27 after a battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Will Perry Willis, a career fireman and engineer for the City of Asheville Fire Department, was diagnosed in April 2017 with translocation renal cell carcinoma. His cousin, Josh Jenkins, told FOX Carolina there are no known cures.

Despite the diagnosis, Willis spent 2017 continuing to run calls with his fellow Asheville firefighters. He most recently worked as an engineer for Station 6. He had previously served as the deputy chief of Ebbs Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, which he joined at age 16.

On the day of his 34th birthday, Willis lost his fight with cancer. He is survived by his wife and their four children.

The family held a graveside service in February at Laurel Baptist Church. According to his obituary, Willis was a man of faith who served as an elder at the Burnsville Seventh Day Adventist Church.

A memorial for Willis will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 11 at Brookstone Church in Weaverville. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Benefit for Will Willis Account at First Citizen Bank in Weaverville.

Donations can also be made to a GoFundMe set up for Willis' family.

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