My name is Chris Palmer, I’m a lieutenant for the Newbury Fire department, and I’d like to tell you a little about my story, and experience with the New Hampshire Police Fire and EMS Foundation.
It was late July of 2008 when I first learned that I had a brain tumor. I later found out it was brain cancer. After two surgery’s, I was out of work for about 8 weeks before returning to work part time, leaving early each day to undergo radiation treatments. Financially this was very hard on us. My wife and I could not seem to make ends meet, and it took a while to dig ourselves out of the hole once I went back to work full time… Now we fast forward to May of 2010. I had been getting MRI’s every few months since the tumor had 1st appeared. My doctor saw something on one of the scans that looked off. He recommended that I have another surgery and to biopsy the area in case the tumor had returned. To our dismay, It had returned. After a few days I met with my doctor to discuss our options. He said that I could receive a regular schedule of chemo, but it would be almost certain that the cancer would return again and I would likely pass away in 5 to 10 years, or I could receive extreme doses of chemo therapy so harsh that it would kill all my bone marrow and lower my immune system to nothing. There was a chance that I could die from the treatments, but if I got through it, I would stand a chance to live a long life… I don’t know about you, but that was a gamble that I was more than willing to take.
Because the course of treatment was so rough, and my immune system would be so low, I would have to be out of work for over 6 months. I was unsure what we were going to do financially, we have a mortgage to pay and a kindergartener that eats like a high schooler.
I learned in early July that the New Hampshire Police Fire and Ems Foundation had voted to send me a check monthly for six months to help me out with my loss of income… Mind you, this didn’t completely make up for my lost income, but it certainly helped us keep our heads above water.
Then, in December I learned that they had voted to extend my benefits an extra two months. This helped me to catch back up on my payments while I went back to work part time. I can honestly say that I don’t know what I would have done without the help of the NH Police Fire and EMS Foundation. I feel personally that it is a blessing that I am here at all, and in general It is this reason that I am speaking to you right now…
Without the help, of people like you, the New Hampshire Police, Fire and EMS Foundation would not have been able to help me, and so many other Police, Fire and EMS personnel family’s in their time of need, or financial hardship.
There are a couple ways that all of you can help this foundation… The first and easiest is becoming a member of the foundation. Ask your family, friends, or even co-workers to join you as well.
Mind you,… The small yearly fee of $ 20.00 will not do much by itself, but calculate for just a moment how many people are around here today,..
For every 5 people, it represents $ 100.00… If all of us here were members than this would be a great help to the foundation wouldn’t it ?
Membership will not get you off from a speeding ticket,…
It will not allow you a complementary fire suppression system,…
Or even a free helicopter fall foliage tour,…
But it will give you a great feeling letting you know that you were a big help in someone’s life, and that is the very thread to why each and every one of you are here today, a part of a family here in the emergency services, helping each other out.
Another way people can help out if preferred is by simple donations, anything you can give would be a great help, no amount is ever too small.
So please,… I beg you, take a moment to think about the best way that you can help this foundation out, and do it.
Just remember that whatever you can do, can help change someone’s life for the better…
It certainly did for me,… and I thank you all again.