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DeKalb firefighters launch fundraiser to help first responder battling stage 4 colon cancer
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - At just 30 years-old, Peter Le is no stranger to hard-fought battles—serving in the Marine Corps before joining the DeKalb County Fire Department nearly seven years ago.
The DeKalb County first responder is now in the fight of his life after receiving a devastating diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer last month.
The diagnosis came on the heels of an engagement and plans to purchase a new home with his fiancé. Le told FOX 5 after years of ignoring symptoms, it was his fiancé who pushed him to get a colonoscopy and the results left them both stunned.
"They found a mass in my descending colon during my exam," he told FOX 5. "Even right now, I’m still kind of in the middle of processing everything because it happened so quick with the emotional rollercoaster of celebrating an engagement to the potential of buying a new home to now having this potentially fatal illness."
According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for stage 4 colon cancer is about 14%.
Le, who is in the very early stages of treatment at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center, said doctors are hopeful he’ll pull through with chemotherapy and surgery. But in spite of the odds, he’s focused on positivity.
"If you have so very little time left, I’d rather spend it being positive…making the most of it," he explained.
While friends of his within the fire department have started raising money to help cover his medical bills, Le said he’s also focused on raising awareness about scheduling doctor’s appointments regularly.
"Get screened, get checked out as soon as possible—even if you have a small hunch," he said.
Members of the department created an online fundraiser for Le but also plan to host an in-person fundraiser at Johnnie MacCracken’s Firehouse Pub in Marietta on Nov. 11.