The communities of the Berkshire, Sunbury, Trenton, and Galena Fire District, will host a 5K run fundraiser in honor of Fire Chief Jeff Wilson on Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m., starting at the The Big Walnut Grill on State Route 3 in Sunbury.
The event is called Chief’s Champions.
In January, after a MRI, Wilson was diagnosed with glioblastoma. He has since then had surgery to remove two tumors from his brain.
“They got most of the tumor,” Deputy Chief Kevin Kline said. “The doctor was comfortable with what was left of the tumor,” Kline added. The doctor figures the chemo and radiation will take care of the rest of it.
Kline said the glioblastoma is a fast-growing cancer, but in Wilson’s case, it was operable. However, Wilson’s insurance won’t cover the full cost of the procedure and there will be leftover medical expenses, he said.
Kline said Wilson has started chemo therapy in pill form and has to do 42 radiation treatments over the next six weeks.
“He’s doing well. I hope the radiation and chemo knock the tumor out,” Kline said. “He comes by (the station) for a couple of hours a day to get his brain thinking again. I think it’s mostly to just get out of the house.”
The 5K is being organized by Dayna Stelzer (B.S.T. and G. Lieutenant Kyle Stelzer’s wife) to raise money to help Wilson with the medical bills.
Stelzer said the 5K wasn’t just about raising money to help with the medical bills.
“My hope is it will bring enough people out to show him they are all thinking of him and praying to encourage him to keep fighting this battle,” she said.
Stelzer said the 5K run is a noncompetitive, family-friendly event open to the everyone in the community.
“It’s something people can enjoy,” she said. “(Wilson) directed the T-shirt design and picked the date.”
Stelzer said there will be a one-mile loop for those who don’t want to go the full 5K distance. She said other fire departments have been invited to the event and they are bringing trucks for kids to see.
Resignation is $25 for individuals (the cost includes a T-shirt); and $50 for families (the cost includes two T-shirts).
For more information or to enter the event, Dayna Stelzer can be reached through her email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 614-746-2702.
Wilson serves on the Delaware County 911 Board, is a past president of the Delaware County Fire Chief’s Association; a member of the Sunbury United Methodist Church and serves on the Economic Development Board of Sunbury.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.