The Piqua Firefighters Union Local 252 is working in collaboration with Atlantis Sportswear, Kettering Health Network and retired Piqua Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Meckstroth and his wife Rhonda Meckstroth, on a fundraising project for lung cancer research with the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and beginning November 1st, 2019 Piqua firefighters will be proudly wearing their Fire Fighting For A Cure T-Shirts. Proceeds from the sale will directly fund ALK specific lung cancer research, the rare genetic form of lung cancer that Jeff Meckstroth was diagnosed with in late 2015. Donations can be accepted through this site, or until November 10th, 2019 one can also purchase a Fire Fighting For A Cure T-shirt at https://firefightingforacure.itemorder.com/sale
The Meckstroth family also coordinated a “free” lung cancer screening for all Piqua & Troy Firefighters through their connection and local treatment with the Kettering Health Cancer Center in Troy.
A simple, non-productive cough, discussed during a routine annual physical led to a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis that had metastasized from the lungs to the lymph system, bones and eventually the brain. As a non-smoker, Meckstroth was not aware that ANYONE with lungs can get lung cancer. Only 19% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years.
The Meckstroths’ traveled to Boston all of 2018 to access a clinical trial treatment that is now FDA approved, this precision medicine is an oral daily tablet manufactured by Pfizer that has been effective in stabilizing Jeff’s lung cancer. Jeff acknowledges that “advancements in research and the dedication of my wife to educate and advocate for my care is the only reason I am still alive”. “Lung cancer is in desperate need for public education and funding for research, only 6% of federal cancer funding is allocated for lung cancer. Because the general public is grossly uneducated about the realities of lung cancer today, they still believe that lung cancer is a result of personal choice to use tobacco, and this directly impacts empathy and funding for research” said Rhonda. We know Research Matters!