The following is from an article at

They put their lives on the line to save ours. However, one Kankakee firefighter battling a deadly disease said in his time of need, he’s getting no help at all from City Hall.

“Watching the parades when I was two or three, seeing the fire trucks go by, I’m like ‘I want to do that,'” said Kankakee firefighter Derek Hogg … 31 [who] achieved that boyhood dream becoming a firefighter in 2008. But a couple years ago, his body began sending signals that something was wrong.

“May of 2012 I started getting muscle twitches. Didn’t think anything of it,” Hogg said. When it got worse, he saw a doctor and got a shocking diagnosis — ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease — a muscle wasting condition for which there is no cure. Doctors told him he had only three to five years to live, but Hogg chose to go back to work.

“I loved being a fireman, loved it. And so I went back to work after I got my diagnosis,” Hogg said.

And he needed the money for his growing family. Hogg and his wife holly have two very young sons.

In 2013, the disease had progressed to the point he could no longer be a firefighter, and Hogg was put on desk duty. But that disability duty has a time limit that will soon expire, which means Hogg would be out of a job. That’s when his fellow firefighters came to the rescue.

His colleagues volunteered to work Hogg’s shifts at the firehouse and donate their vacation time and sick days, so that he could stay on the payroll until June 1, which is a critical date. That marks Hogg’s seventh full year on the job and allows him to qualify for a disability pension of $3200 a month. It is money that would continue to go to his family after he dies.

“Thought it was a very simple idea. The city wouldn’t lose a dime,” Hogg said. “Just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, because with a young family at home I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Hogg.

Hogg said after the firefighters union okayed the plan, he met with Kankakee mayor Nina Epstein, who told him she was fine with it as long as the lawyers signed off. A month later, Epstein left a voice message saying the city would not allow other firefighters to work on his behalf.

Epstein told FOX 32: “Sadly I cannot accommodate his request… This is a horrible situation, but I can’t look at things that way. I have to look out for the taxpayers… I have to follow the law.”

On Monday, Hogg, his family and a group of supporters went to the Kankakee City Council meeting to address the mayor directly.

“I ask that you not look at this decision as a politician but a human being. One with morals and compassion,” Hogg said. “I ask you mayor, will you let my brothers and sisters on the fire department help me?”

The mayor responded, “I will not continue to discuss it in a public forum… Nothing I can do to reverse that decision.”

This means Hogg will soon lose his job and any chance at the pension that would have helped his family.

“It’s a bad situation, and I feel like they have the opportunity to make it better for us. And they’re choosing not to help us. And I feel like our fate rests in the mayor’s hands,” Hogg’s wife Holly said. “And I don’t feel like she’s doing enough to help us.”

There is precedent — in Pittsburgh recently, firefighters worked the shift of a colleague also suffering from ALS. But the Kankakee mayor said she can’t bend the rules, telling FOX 32 ‘I have 300 employees. Do you think this will be the last horrible situation?'”

thanks Dan