Firefighters are heroes that put their lives on the line to save others. But now, a Valley firefighter is dealing with his own battle, stage four colorectal cancer.
With the crowd cheering him on, Tommy Arriaga got his head shaved on Saturday. It's the next step in his battle with cancer, something he says he got while on the job as a Tempe firefighter. "Out of the hundreds of fires that I've probably been on, we can't pinpoint which one, but it was one of them for sure," Arriaga said.
ABC15 has reported on numerous instances in the past few months of Valley firefighters battling cancer. In some cases, their workers' compensation was denied. For Arriaga, his thankfully was not.
"The bills pile up quickly so to be able to have that off my plate at an early part of this was huge," Arriaga said.
As his chemotherapy continues, Arriaga's wife and two daughters have stayed by his side.