By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
On Friday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. a fundraiser at the San Diego Firehouse Museum will offer an opportunity to see the museum and to raise money for cancer patients Glenn Stewart and Paula Hamma. The Heartland Firefighters Foundation is holding a fundraiser at the museum to help these family members of the men and women who fight our wildfires and other fires in East County.
The museum, founded in 1962 and located in San Diego’s Little Italy, houses steel from the World Trade Center, firefighting equipment from the late 1800s, La Jolla’s first fire engine and more. Besides seeing the museum, the taco plates ($10) and beer ($5) offered will be a great way to contribute to monies to help Stewart and Hamma. There is no entry fee.
“We have a nonprofit for our department called Heartland Firefighters Foundation,” said Louie Kinoshita, with the Heartland Fire & Rescue Department. “We pick other groups that don’t always get recognized. Previous years we’ve helped Challenged Athletes Foundation, a local family in memory of Jessica Casillas who was an assistant principal in Lemon Grove, Wounded Warrior Project and more,” continued Kinoshita.
Glenn Stewart,58, father of firefighter Josh Stewart, has stage 4 cancer-glioblastoma multiforme. Part of the money raised will be used toward the elder Stewart’s trip to Mexico for further treatments. Stewart has already gone through chemotherapy and traditional treatment in the San Diego area.
Paula Hamma, wife of firefighter Captain Tom Hamma, was diagnosed with stage 4c ovarian cancer October 2, 2017.
“I was feeling poorly for several months. I thought I had digestive problems. Shannyn Fowl, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in La Mesa, ran a cancer blood screening test. It came back 100 times higher than normal,” said Paula, “It was very dramatic.”
“She called me on the phone and broke it to me gently as she could,” relayed Hamma. What happened next were three rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and three more rounds of chemotherapy at UCSD Moores Cancer Center. The treatments reduced her metastasized cancer, that spread to her liver and lungs, to just her liver. Next week she goes in for an MRI and cat scan.
Hamma added, “Going through a cancer diagnosis is extremely expensive. We are grateful and humbled at all the work that is being done by the association (HFF). We are very independent people that like to depend on ourselves. This had taught us the importance of community.” One
hundred percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Stewart and Hamma.
Mission Brewery, Resident Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company and Bay City Brewing Co. are contributors to the function.
The San Diego Firehouse Museum is located at 1572 Columbia Street in the Little Italy area.
Heartland Fire & Rescue serves the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove. For more information about Heartland Fire & Rescue visit website at www.heartlandfire.org or the Facebook event page for Firefighters Against Cancer. FD PD OctoberStache is another FaceBook page to reference for this foundation. Glenn Stewart’s GoFundMe account is: www.gofundme.com/glenns-fight-to-beat-cancer.