Being a firefighter comes with unexpected risks, endured by the selfless and courageous.
From BOSTON HERALD | By Lindsay Kalter: Chelsea firefighter Pete Kannler has faced the flames of a six-alarm fire, stood atop a crumbling roof and felt a burning floor give way beneath his feet. Now the 36-year-old is fighting the toughest battle of his life as an aggressive form of esophageal cancer, usually found in people twice his age, attacks his body.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]According to Pete’s doctor, there are tumors more common in firefighters, including stomach and esophageal tumors.[/pullquote]
“You can sit in your bedroom and cry or you can fight it,” said Kannler. “I’m not going to let it define me. I’m just not going to give up.”
Kannler, who lives in Townsend with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 4, went to the doctor for what he thought was a bleeding ulcer in July. Instead they found cancer — a form of adenocarcinoma — where his esophagus meets his stomach that had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.
He was told he had a 4 percent chance of living five years.
The official diagnosis is usually seen in the elderly and brought on by acid reflux or long-term smoking. Kannler had none of the risk factors. He was fit and otherwise healthy — he had just run an intense mud race, “Tough Mudder,” two weeks before his cancer was discovered.
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