Daily Star file photo / AARON MUELLER Bruce Vosburgh, a 39-year veteran of the Niles Township Fire Department, is the Michigan coordinator for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, which is in the running for a large donation from Waymire Advocacy Communications.

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Firefighter leads charge for charity

Published 11:10pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A local firefighter is leading the charge to secure a large donation for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

Bruce Vosburgh, a 39-year veteran of the Niles Township Fire Department and the Michigan coordinator for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), said the nonprofit organization is in the running for a “sizable donation” from Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications.

The FCSN is one of four charities nationwide that are a part of the “Gives Project.” People can vote online for their favorite nonprofit of the four, and the winner gets the largest donation. All four charities will get some funding.

Vosburgh said he doesn’t know how much the donation will be but was told it would be significant.

Vosburgh, a cancer survivor, said firefighters are twice as likely to develop cancer than people in other professions due to the carcinogens they are exposed to when fighting flames. FCSN exists to provide education to firefighters across the country on the risks of cancer and how to avoid it.

The six-year-old organization also provides support to firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

“When you hear you have cancer, you automatically think you’re going to die,” Vosburgh said. “This is a big support group.

Everyone says firefighters are a brotherhood, and we are right there for each other.”

Most of those involved with FCSN are cancer survivors so they “know what they are going through and are there to help them,” Vosburgh said.

People can vote up to once a day for FCSN at mwacsocial.com/vote. FCSN is currently third place in the voting.

For more information on FCSN, visit www.firefightercancersupport.org.

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