It’s a beautiful thing when your community shows up for you in your time of need.
Lieutenant Glenn Preston, a 42-year-old fire fighter in Danvers, Massachusetts, has spent the last couple of years battling lymphoma. According to WFXT, this form of blood cancer is a “hidden killer” that firefighters face and is likely associated with the hazards of their job.
The entire time, Preston has been determined to be there for his family.
“All I wanna do is live, beat this, be able to walk my daughters down the aisle,” he said in a news story from last April. “Not be in a box. I want to get back to work, be a fireman again.”
While Preston went into remission in April of 2018, he has recently had to undergo another round of intense treatment and surgery to fight against the disease.
Since his surgery and recovery were in New Jersey, this meant that Preston would miss his 11-year-old son Jake’s first little league baseball game with the Danvers Braves.
“It’s his first game and I’m missing it,” Preston told WCVB. Since he was not going to be there, Preston asked for as many of his fellow fire department members as possible to don their uniforms and go to the game in his stead.
In a touching and powerful act of solidarity, hundreds of local firefighters showed up to the game in Danvers to show Jake that he and his family were cared for. Newton Fire Department reported that members from over 53 different departments showed up for the game.
Over 53 Fire Departments showed up for Boston FF Glenn Preston. He was unable to be at his sons Little League game, Glenn is in NJ fighting his occupational cancer. He requested some Firefighters attend the game, we all showed up. This is what the brotherhood is all about. pic.twitter.com/Ku3hRF5Ajc
— Newton Fire (@NewtonFireDept) June 15, 2019
Boston Fire Lieutenant Roger Kendrick was one of the attending firefighters that night.
“As an 11-year-old, he’s going through stuff now that no 11-year-old should go through. I just wanted his son to understand how much people truly care for his dad,” he told WCVB.
Sporting his number 7 jersey, Jake was shocked to walk out on the field and see so many of his dad’s colleagues there. “I had no clue what was going on!” He told WFXT. “I just walked out was like ok! This is happening.”
“[Preston]’s devastated that he can’t be here and I told him that we would get it done and not to worry,” Kendrick said. “I think it really shows the goodness in people and what can be done when you really care about somebody.”
“It’s just part of the brotherhood,” said Matt Aquaro of the Danvers fire department.
Preston is beyond grateful for the way that his brothers have shown up in his family’s time of need.
“That’s just priceless to me,” he said. “It takes all the pain that I have and it makes it gone, almost. I just wish I could be there.”
Not only did Preston’s coworkers show up for Jake’s first game, but they’ve also promised to attend each one until Preston is able to attend again.
“This isn’t really about Glenn anymore, this is about his 11-year-old son who is having to grow up way too fast,” Kendrick said. “Hopefully someday he’ll be able to look back and that and say, ‘Geez, these guys really love my dad, my dad is a great guy.'”
While Preston is not yet finished in his battle against cancer, he is surrounded by countless men who are willing to fight alongside him.
Once Preston has recovered from his surgery, he will undergo tests to see if he is in remission.
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