Stephenson County man who dedicates life to saving others gets - – Rockford’s News Leader

Stephenson County man who dedicates life to saving others gets help from community

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Stephenson County community members watch a family's life completely change. One man, who made his career saving lives, is now the one getting help.

Daniel Bower is a former Freeport firefighter and paramedic. He has brain and lung cancer, living with tumors in both areas. After surgery six months ago, Daniel stopped working. So, friends and loved ones want to help him and his family.

Daniel spends Saturday afternoon at Lena's Fire Department, but it's not for an emergency. The help is for him.

"The hardest part for me has been being on this side, because I'm always the person who does this for everybody else." -Daniel says.

Hot food, baked goods and auctions greet participants. Organizers want to raise $10,000. Daniel has insurance, so money donated will go toward out-of-pocket costs, like driving to doctor's appointments and education for his three children.

"The extra things are above and beyond and it shows you that portion that most people don't think about." -Daniel explains.

Cancer limits Daniel's mobility and sight. If things were different, he'd be doing what he loves.

"I enjoyed showing up at other people's aid at the worst time and that's what really made it important to them, when they were in the ambulance or they were in the worst situation and I always tried to help."

Doctors only give Daniel a couple months to live, but he focuses on making his wife Abigail, son Austin and daughters Emma and Ellie happy, instead of dwelling on what's to come.

"I've wrote them all letters and they're all sitting aside and it's been amazing to me. The things that I'm definitely going to miss are my girls, when they get married, but to this day they're right next to me and making sure that I'm okay."

The event ended at 9 Saturday night. We're still waiting on word of how much money was raised.

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