After An Iowa Firefighter And U.S. Army Veteran Was Diagnosed With Stage Four Cancer, A Nonprofit Organization Helped Pay Off His Mortgage

Kzenon - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In May, a 51-year-old firefighter and U.S. Army veteran from Iowa was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. A nonprofit organization called Building Homes for Heroes stepped in to help pay off his mortgage, giving him and his family one less thing to worry about during these trying times.

Mike Broderick started experiencing stomach pain the night before his 46-year-old wife Emily’s birthday. After he went to the bathroom and saw that his urine was brown, she insisted that he go to the emergency room.

The couple has been married for 25 years, and they raised four children together. Initially, they believed he had kidney stones, but at the hospital, they learned that Mike had a rare disease called cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer.

Mike’s stage 4 cancer treatment is covered by insurance. However, he did not receive disability benefits from the fire department he worked at.

Luckily, Building Homes for Heroes paid off his mortgage, and now the family feels a sense of relief. Without the mortgage to worry about, they can put all their focus on fighting Mike’s cancer.

The nonprofit was founded in 2006 and is based in New York. Over the years, it has gifted more than 300 homes to veterans.

In addition to the organization’s help, a friend and coworker of Mike’s at the Des Moines Fire Department, Jason Mason, started a GoFundMe so the Broderick family could receive extra financial support.

In the post, he described Mike as selfless, loyal, and hard-working. “Mike once paced me for the final 50 miles of a 100-mile running race through the mountains and made sure I was well taken care of mentally and physically throughout that entire time even though he was hurting just as much,” wrote Jason.

Mike served in the U.S. Army for over 20 years. He was also a first responder when the Pentagon was attacked on 9/11. After moving to Iowa, he became a firefighter, taking care of his community for 16 years now.

Kzenon – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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