Minnesota fire captain creates 'UnderGuardian' apparel in hopes of reducing firefighter cancer rates

  • Source: KARE-TV NBC 11 Minneapolis
  • Published: 07/02/2021 12:00 AM

Mark Monson's life changed forever while walking his dog near the Savage Fire Department 26 years ago. Monson started chatting with some of the volunteer firefighters who encouraged him to apply. "I don't know how many people can look back at one moment in time and figure out when their life changed for the positive but every positive thing I have in my life came from that moment forward," Monson said. Monson is a captain and paramedic with the St. Paul Fire Department and retired firefighter for the city of Savage. Throughout the years, he has watched as fellow firefighters have battled something other than the flames they confront on the job. "Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was the cancer I had and firefighters get that cancer at a 51% greater rate than the general public," said Steve Shapira, Minnesota state director for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.


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