Detroit firefighter dies after short battle with cancer

Detroit Fire Department firefighter Derek Stone succumbed to stomach cancer just weeks after his Stage 4 diagnosis

By FireRescue1 Staff

DETROIT — A firefighter who was recently diagnosed with cancer died, shocking members of his department.

FOX 2 reported that Derek Stone, 50, was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer only a few weeks ago, and now his wife and two children are struggling with his loss, as well as the loss of health insurance that accompanied his death, a byproduct of Detroit’s past bankruptcy negotiations.

The plight facing Stone’s family doesn’t sit well with retired firefighter Jason Ridgeway.

“I don’t have the answers, I just know that guys who give their lives put up their lives as collateral for other people’s lives,” he said. “They should just be taken care of.”

Stone’s colleagues hosted a fundraiser to raise money for his family.

“We’re just trying to pull up the slack from where things have been taken away,” Ridgeway said. “We take care of our own.”

During the gathering, Stone’s fellow firefighters remembered him for his bravery.

“Nobody who speaks about him is going to say anything different, that he was one of our brightest stars,” firefighter Sivad Johnson said. “He was one of our true soldiers in the field.”

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