Firefighter Walks Across Michigan to Support Those Battling Cancer
September 8, 2023
April O'Neil / news@WHMI.com
A Michigan firefighter is walking across the state, including a stop in Livingston County, bringing awareness to those combatting cancer, and remembering those who have died from the disease.
Joseph Warne is a Macomb Township Firefighter (pictured) who began the “Walk for the Red” in 2019 when cancer was declared the leading cause of death among Firefighters.
Joe started his journey on Thursday, September 7 at the Macomb Township Fire Station 2, located off 21 Mile Road, and will end his trek on Friday September 8 in Ada, located southeast of Grand Rapids.
Joe will make a stop in Livingston County Friday evening, dressed in full gear, to visit with staff at the Howell Area FD Station #20.
The "Walk for the Red" seeks to raise awareness and funds for those struggling with occupational cancer, which accounted for more than 74% of line-of-duty deaths last year, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
Jennifer Dehanke is an engineer and administrative assistant with the Hartland-Deerfield Fire Authority. She is also a breast cancer survivor and said the event is personal to her and other Michigan families dealing with the disease.
“I met Joe right after his walk three years ago and was being treated for cancer at the time. I wasn’t able to walk with him, but he came by the station and gave me a check to help with some of my expenses while going through treatment.”
Dehanke was able to participate in the 2022 "Walk for the Red" and says she is now in remission.
“I was able to walk all through Hartland Township with Joe. We started at the corner of of M-59 at Tipsico Lake Road, which is the start of our jurisdiction, all the way to M-59 at Hacker Road, which is the end."
To donate and to find more information on Joe Warne and the "Walk for the Red", visit the provided link.