CLARKSVILLE, Mich.-- He's used to battling flames, but for the past seven months a firefighter in Ionia County has been fighting cancer instead. On Tuesday, he received a special gift from the community, but that wasn't the only surprise.
Terry Furlong recently found out he's cancer free. While he surprised his brothers and sisters at the fire department with the news, they had a gift of their own. They presented him with a check for $27,060 to help out with all of those medical bills.
It was a big surprise for Furlong and his family Tuesday night.
"He had six rounds of chemotherapy, four chemo injections in his spine and was on three different combinations of chemo medication," said Sharon Furlong, Terry's wife.
Terry, a member of the Campbell Township Fire Department was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma and began chemotherapy in September. It was news that ignited action in his fellow firefighters.
"We needed to support our brother in fire, whatever we could do," said Bonnie Cronk, EMT.
The fire department held a chili dinner, received donations from churches and checks from complete strangers. It's something Furlong says he will be forever grateful for.
"The community is 100 percent behind us all of the way," said Terry Furlong. "The fire department is awesome. I couldn't ask for a better bunch."
Tuesday night, they presented Terry and his wife Sharon with a check for $27,060.
"It's very awesome" said Terry. "It will definitely help pay off a lot of the medical bills."
"It'll keep us afloat so we don't have to worry about him running back to work at the end of the month," said Sharon Furlong.
But Terry had a big surprise of his own to reveal: announcing he's officially cancer free as of two weeks ago.
"We are very happy for him" said Cronk.
It's something Terry says wouldn't be possible without his community.
"They are our other family," said Sharon.
"We're a big huge family," said Terry.
The Furlongs say the donation is going to cover 100 percent of their medical bills and will also help cover expenses while Terry slowly gets back to work. Doctors say Furlong has no restrictions and he should be going back out on fire calls once he gets his strength back and no longer needs pain medication.