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Former Fla. FF-medic sues county after being denied cancer benefit

A law offers firefighters with some cancers $25,000 each, but Christina Pierson was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer struck before the law took effect



By Leila Merrill

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Former Polk County Firefighter-Paramedic Christina Pierson is suing the county after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer but denied a $25,000 benefit offered by the state, Fox 13 reported.

The cancer benefit law was signed by the governor in 2019. It includes a payment to help cover medical bills and lost wages and lists 21 varieties of cancer.

Her diagnosis came a few months before the law went into effect in October 2018, and the county said her “cancer was personal in nature,” Pierson explained.

She was outraged. Pierson said she had been a healthy nonsmoker until cancer hit.

“Stage 4 lung cancer is not curable. I have been in consistent chemotherapy, and I will always need chemotherapy. The moment I stop it, I will die soon after,” Pierson said.

Dozens of other Florida firefighters have also been denied such payments.