CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Remember a birthday when you unwrapped a new t-shirt? Maybe it wasn’t very exciting, but for an area firefighter, a t-shirt took his breath away.
Firefighters all over Champaign County are wearing them this week to show their support for him, as he fights a tough battle.
Trevor Herderhorst said, when this social media post came the day before his birthday, it was a surprise he could’ve never imagined.
He already knew he had an army standing behind him. He had no idea just how strong, and how big, that army of support was until Monday.
This is his immediate family.
This is his extended family.
While Trevor was in the hospital, the two came together to hatch a plan.
“I had a text message from my wife, and she said ‘Well have you seen anything yet? Have you seen your surprise?'”
He opened it on Facebook.
“When I saw those pictures on Monday, I was just taken away,” he said.
With years of experience, Trevor is used fighting fires. The past few years, he’s also grown familiar with fighting cancer. His third bout came in February, with stage four lung cancer.
“I don’t want to say that anybody’s cancer fight is ever easy, but it’s made it so much easier because of the support that we’ve received.”
It’s not just in his own department. Urbana firefighters are all in on it too.
“There’s one thing that divides us, and it’s the street: Wright Street. That’s it. We’re always going to be here for our fellow firefighters, especially with someone so close,” said Urbana firefighter Andy Stewart.
As the post is shared, Trevor’s support system continues gaining members, all over Champaign County.
“I don’t deserve all the help that I’ve been given, but it’s been given so freely, and it’s been given to the extent that I could never imagine.”
Even though most of his comrades would disagree with that, Trevor insists, this story isn’t about him. This story is what being a firefighter is all about.
“If there’s anything to show to the community, and to express to the community is, if this is how we take care of each other, imagine how we take care of the community.”
Trevor says his goal is to spend as much time around his second family, his fellow firefighters, as possible.
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