The sacrifices we don’t see: Heroic volunteer firefighter who has left his family behind to battle blazes for the last month reveals he has CANCER
- Firefighter battling blazes for four weeks is also suffering from cancer
- Darren Carter is in between treatment for colorectal cancer after 2018 diagnosis
- He has been a volunteer firefighter for six years and wanted to help out
A heroic volunteer firefighter who has been battling blazes across New South Wales for almost a month is currently in between rounds of chemotherapy.
Darren Carter, a 42-year-old from Oakdale in Sydney’s southwest was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in December 2018.
The father-of-two has already been through two bouts of chemotherapy and radiation, and expects to undergo his next treatment in February.
After six years volunteering with his local RFS, Mr Carter didn’t think twice about helping to battle the current blazes – which are some of the worst in Australian history.
Darren Carter (left) pictured with other members of his RFS crew
‘I could have been sh**ty about it and gotten angry with the world but I just decided to deal with it. I just have to go through it,’ Mr Carter told Yahoo News.
He said adrenaline has helped him get through about 20 days of fire fighting this month, though he admits his disease has slowed him down more than he hoped.
Mr Carter was diagnosed with cancer in December 2018
While he normally stays sober and on alert during the Christmas period in case he is needed, this year he has decided to take a well-earned break to be with his wife, Denise, and daughters Nikki, 12, and Jamie, 11.
But he’ll get straight back to the fires after the Christmas break to give some of his mates the chance to take a few days off too, he said.
Mr Carter said firefighters are exhausted after battling such intense conditions for so long, and that they’re ‘flat out’ day in and day out.
But he’ll continue helping out for as long as he physically can.
‘It’s my community and I’m helping out mates,’ he said. ‘It’s also about being with the guys on the truck – you train with these guys and it’s like being bitten by a bug.
‘You also care about the residents around here and you volunteer because you enjoy doing it.’
Mr Carter helped fight the Green Wattle Creek blaze and has been traveling to the Southern Highlands to help with fires down there as well.
He and his crew have spent almost a month battling devastating blazes in New South Wales