Posts Tagged Northwestern Memorial

Itasca Fire Protection District news (more)

From Itasca Fire Protection District on Facebook:

It is with deepest regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Itasca Firefighter Frank Nunez on January 22, 2023, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Thank you to everyone for your condolences and understanding during this difficult time for our fire family.
We love you and will miss you immensely Frank!; #ItascaFPD; #FrankNunez;

Itasca FPD Firefighter Frank Nunez

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Itasca Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from

At 34-years-old, Firefighter Frank Nunez has spent the past few days saying his final goodbyes from a hospital room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

In 2019, after experiencing pain in his left leg, Frank was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer called synovial sarcoma. Frank was treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, and went into remission.

But in 2021, the cancer returned in his left lung. Frank participated in several clinical trials, and during his treatment he never stopped working at the Itasca Fire Protection District (IFPD). 

Frank loved being a firefighter and had an incredibly strong work ethic. He started his career in 2014 and joined the IFPD in 2018, and responded to fire alarms and medical emergencies plus participating in fire prevention and training. He recently finished a fire inspector training class before being admitted to Northwestern Memorial in late September with terminal cancer.

During this hospitalization, Frank’s fellow firefighters have never left his side, rotating visits every day. Because Frank is intubated, the team communicates with Frank via text messages and dry erase boards. When asked to describe Frank, his colleagues said:

  • They wish they could have his personality
  • He was admired
  • A warrior
  • Intelligent
  • An incredible human

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Frank celebrated his 34th birthday with a commitment ceremony to his fiancé, Christina, inside his hospital room. Frank and Christina, who live in Crystal Lake, met two months before Frank was diagnosed with cancer in 2019. From the moment they started dating, Frank knew Christina was “the one.” They got engaged in June 2022, and share a dog, Max, who still waits by the door for Frank to come home.

Frank continues to provide counsel to other loved ones battling cancer – including his own mother, who just received a stem cell transplant for leukemia at Northwestern Memorial. Frank’s mother was able to visit him in the Medical Intensive Care Unit where the two shared their final goodbyes via messages on the dry erase board.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Frank went home on hospice care with a special escortItasca firefighters transported him in the very same ambulance he once used to transport patients. Members of the Chicago Fire Department were also there to salute Frank as he was lifted into the ambulance. Frank took his final ride home with fellow firefighters, his fiancé, and Max – who couldn’t wait any longer for his best friend to come home. 

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