Phoenix Fire Department Chief Kara Kalkbrenner announced in a message to the department Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Kalkbrenner, who was sworn in as the first woman to lead the department in December 2014, said in the message she will undergo a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery this Friday.
"While this is unfortunate news, I have a positive outlook and feel confident that I will beat this,'' Kalkbrenner said in the message, which was posted on the Phoenix Fire Department's Facebook page on Wednesday evening.
"The diagnosis came after I discovered a lump in my breast several weeks ago,'' she said. "Our department is fortunate to have the exemplary team from the Vincere Cancer Center in our court. The physicians used state of the art diagnostics to determine the best course of treatment."
Kalkbrenner grew up in west Phoenix and volunteered at the department in high school.