GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - After dedicating a career to serving the public, one Eastern Carolina firefighter is being repaid for his actions in his time of need.
Jack Mozingo was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and hundreds of hungry people bought barbeque plates from Mission BBQ to help pay his medical bills.
“As far as being a first responder, it takes a very special person to do that,” said Pactolus firefighter Jimmy Barber. “I’m very honored to be a part of the brotherhood of being a first responder in Pitt County.”
As the crowd licked their plates clean, these emergency service professionals smiled knowing every dollar spent on their dinner was going into the hands of a Greenville family in need.
“It is absolutely awesome the support that these guys are giving to their fellow brother that has come down with cancer,” added Barber.
Mozingo spent 14 years fighting flames in Greenville and 15 years in Kinston.
Now, he fights a new beast: pituitary carcinoma, cancer so rare, no treatment plans exist in previous patients.
“Sadly, firefighters have a much higher rate of cancer than the general public,” explained Greenville Fire Chief Carson Sanders.
After fighting the disease for years, the medical bills add up.
“He’s exhausted a lot of the funds that are available through the state of North Carolina and through some local charities,” said Sanders. “So, we have to try to find some creative ways to support him and get him some money.”
Fundraising at Mission BBQ Wednesday night, all of the money raised will offset Mozingo’s medical debt.
In true firehouse fashion, the night ended with a family meal.
“They spend a third of their lives with these people. They are dependent on them,” said Sanders. “Every day we depend on each other for our lives. We depend on each other and make sure that we care.”
The latest tumor detected by Mozingo’s oncologist came up on a routine scan earlier this year.
Although he is early in the process of fighting against this cancer, the fundraiser was evidence of just how well supported he is.
“As you can imagine, spending that much time with people, you know all about their families. You know all about their histories, the good and the bad,” said Sanders.
Station One is still accepting donations at their South Greene Street firehouse. Checks are to be made payable to the Greenville Firefighters Benevolent Fund and will be delivered to the Mozingo family.
The cooks at Mission BBQ will fire up their smokers to raise money for Greenville first responders again on Thursday night
All sales made then will benefit Greenville Police and their Cop fund for workers that fall into hard times.
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