BEACHWOOD, OH (WOIO) - A Beachwood firefighter is in for the battle of his life, fighting an aggressive form of brain cancer. But just like fighting a fire, he won't be doing it alone.
When Capt. Michael Palumbo was diagnosed with brain cancer, his brother, Mark, who is also a firefighter, rounded up family, friends and crews. He says the veteran firefighter has been putting his life on the line for others for more than 25 years and now it's time for them to return the gesture.
Capt. Mark Palumbo says this is a life and death situation for his brother.
"The doctor told us, there is no cure for this tumor," he said.
Last August, Michael was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a form of cancer. Mark says studies show that many firefighters are exposed to it.
It's taken a toll on his brother and their entire family.
"Difficult. Difficult. Not only do I know the severity of the situation, but I also know the impact it could have on the family," explained Mark.
The father of five has undergone major brain surgery to remove the lesions on his brain, but will need more treatment -- some in state and some out of state. To help, Mark has started a GoFundMe page and is raising awareness by selling bracelets.
For now, Michael is home with family, preparing to start chemotherapy and radiation concurrently on Monday.
Mark, who shares a desk with him, says he can't wait for his brother to return to firefighting.
"I can't wait to see him at this place again," said Mark.
In addition to the GoFundMe page, the Palumbos are raising awareness about Senate Bill 27, which is currently in committee. They're hoping this legislation will pass and protect Ohio firefighters from on-the-job cancer.