Spokane Firefighter Battling Cancer Dies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Firefighter Loses His Battle With Cancer


KHQ.COM - Local firefighter, John Knighten, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.

This was posted Sunday on Facebook:

From the Spokane Firefighter's Facebook Page: It has been a day of great sorrow, we do not have the words to express our feelings. 19 of our brothers lost their lives in AZ today. Our thoughts and prayers are with their brothers, sisters, and families.

However, one of our own, the person pictured on our profile, Brother Knighten lost his battle tonight. He contracted cancer from his work as a Spokane Firefighter. His death is a line of duty death, and all of Local 29 is beyond sad. Please keep his wife and three girls in your thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace John!

BACKGROUND FROM Savejohnknighten.com:

On 1/2/10 John Knighten, a firefighter in Spokane Washington, while on duty was rushed to the ER unable to breath. John's airway had closed due to an infection called Epiglotitious and he was intubated in the operating room in order to save his life. He spent the next seven days in ICU where his wife begged doctors to carefully review his medical history. John had recently battled other infections including three severe cases of pneumonia in a thirteen month period. She felt that something was being missed, his immune system seemed compromised and she was positive there was an underlying cause. Sadly, further blood-work and testing confirmed  that John had Multiple Myeloma, a serious form of blood plasma cancer.  

This has been a devastating shock to the Knighten family.  John and his dear wife Shawna are the parents to three beautiful young girls: ages 10, 8, and 3.  If John passes away, his youngest daughter may not remember him.  This is a particularly heartbreaking concept as John lost his own father when he was just five years old. 

He was the inspiration when John joined the Marine Corps in 1986.  After serving for four years with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, he joined the Spokane Fire Department in 1994 where he was voted Top Recruit. 

John loves his job and has had no problem putting his life on the line for thousands of men, women and children during his military and firefighting service.  He is a true hero, loved by many. We ask now that you help us save John.  

Two bone marrow transplants are imperative in the fight to save John's life.  Though health insurance covers part of the treatment, the hospital will not agree to schedule the surgeries until the Knighten family can pay the difference up front.  The total cost of the two surgeries and recovery is nearing $500,000 and miscellaneous treatment will surpass even this.  Doctors believe the transplants will dramatically increase John's life expectancy and may even place him into a remission status. 

Please help us help John, a man who has risked his life for so many. Your donation and/or helping us get the word out would mean so much to the Knighten family.
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