October 31, 2023
If there’s one word we wish we could wipe from our collective consciousness, it’s cancer.
The disease — and its many brutal variations — affects far too many people. And sadly, the firefighting community faces cancer all too often.
At Fire Dept. Coffee, we’ve made it our mission to support sick or injured first responders. So we’re proud that funds raised in November through our Fire Dept. Coffee Club and Fire Dept. Shirt Club will support the Iron Joel Cancer Fund in Indianapolis.
Despite the Indianapolis Fire Department's proactive stance on cancer prevention, they still face extraordinary cancer rates within the department. Battalion Chief Rita Reith, Director of Media Relations estimates that up to 90 IFD firefighters have battled cancer over the last 20 years, with five or six currently undergoing treatment. She concedes that both numbers are likely higher since not every cancer diagnosis is reported.
When you hear the story of the Iron Joel Cancer Fund and the community that comes together to support it, we know you’ll be just as proud as we are to support this cause in November.
The Iron Joel Cancer Fund carries with it a legacy of unwavering dedication and heart-wrenching tragedy. It was established in honor of Joel Johnston, a true hero.
Joel was a 16-year veteran of the Indianapolis Fire Department, a loving husband and a father of four. He was a man who embraced life, an avid athlete who dedicated his free time to training and competing in bike races, triathlons and Iron Man competitions.
In March 2015, the unthinkable happened — Joel was diagnosed with an aggressive Stage 4 cancer. By the time he was diagnosed, his cancer had already spread to his liver, stomach, lungs, hips and lymph nodes.
“Joel was truly a beloved guy on the job,” Reith said. “He was an amazing athlete and the type of person who never took a sick day.”
Yet the disease progressed with a swiftness that shook everyone who knew Joel. In just a few short months, he passed away in October 2015, leaving behind a devastated family and a grateful community that had known his warmth and heroism.
In April 2016, more than 250 people gathered at the Lucas Estate for the Fire Ball, a fundraising event that generated over $55,000 in charitable funds for the Iron Joel Cancer Fund. The proceeds from this event were put to good use, and a portion was immediately used to provide a scholarship for Joel's son, Dylan, to attend college.
The Iron Joel Cancer Fund continues to serve as a beacon of hope for firefighters and their families facing the battle against cancer. The funds have been used to cover everything from mounting medical bills to the most heartbreaking of expenses, funeral costs.
What sets the Iron Joel Cancer Fund apart is its simplicity and swiftness in offering support. Funds are directed straight to the vendors, cutting through red tape, making life easier for firefighters and their families during these challenging times.
Inspired by the Indianapolis Fire Department's unique connection to the racing world, this month's special coffee is named "Loud & Fast."
It aims to kickstart your day with an unapologetic punch while delivering a remarkably smooth finish. This premium roast is handcrafted to perfection, and with each sip, you can taste the dedication of those who serve on the front lines.
The illustration is a tribute to the spirit of racing, featuring a firefighter Dalmatian aboard a truck racing to the scene of an emergency. It's a testament to the bravery of those, like Joel, who run toward danger to help others.
This month's exclusive T-shirt captures the essence of "Loud & Fast." The design boldly showcases the same racing-inspired theme on the back. On the front, you'll find the emblem of the Indianapolis Fire Department, and the right sleeve features the FDC pike pole logo.
Join us in making a difference this November. Become a member of the Fire Dept. Coffee Club and the Fire Dept. Shirt Club.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the fire service family and our club members who continue to show their unwavering support.
Together, we can make a profound impact on the lives of those who have given so much for our safety.
Let's make this November a month to remember, a month of strength, resilience, and unwavering support for the Iron Joel Cancer Fund.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
SUPPORT OUR MISSION AND FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY
© 2023 Fire Department Coffee, Inc.