By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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Courtesy Photo/Ventura County Star

Firefighters want to help 2-year-old ‘knock out' cancer


March 9, 2015

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - A 2-year-old Camarillo boy who is fighting cancer is the inspiration behind the Challenge for Dylan, in which firefighters will enter a boxing ring to raise money for the child who has been battling the disease most of his life.

Saturday’s event in Pasadena will be a fun, friendly competition for both firefighters and the public, said Frank Perez, owner of Title Boxing Club.

“We want to help Dylan knock out cancer,” he explained.

Money raised will help pay for Dylan Wolfe’s one-on-one care providers, as well as an experimental compound medicine that he’s currently taking to help detox his body and cells from chemotherapy, said his mom, Katie Wolfe, a clerk for the Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department.

Money will also go toward educational and entertainment tools “to help foster his learning and development, because it’s been difficult for us to obtain specialized material for him with his young age combined with his visual deficit,” Wolfe said.

Fire Family Foundation, the charitable arm of Firefighters First Credit Union, has established a fund for Dylan.

“Katie works for L.A. County Fire,” explained its executive director, Robin McCarthy. “The family foundation is the charitable hand that supports families in times of difficulties. We often get referrals from individuals looking for a helping hand. When this one came to us, we moved forward.”

Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington challenged Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby to figure out whose crew was the toughest, strongest and fastest in the ring. On Saturday, crews from Pasadena’s 809 Fire Department and Los Angeles County crews, as well as the public, will use the boxing bag and face off in other competitions to claim the title.

“We are looking for the strongest and fastest with the most endurance,” McCarthy said. “It’s an opportunity for them to show off their strengths. This is an unusual event, so we’re really hoping the community comes out to support it.”

The Pasadena firefighters will also cook hot dogs for the guests.

Wolfe said the fundraiser will provide relief in more ways than one.

“It’s been a pretty lonely time since his diagnosis,” she said; her son was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 13 months old.

After Dylan’s first birthday, Wolfe and her husband separated. She has since moved into her mother and stepfather’s home in Camarillo.

“We’ve lived in a bubble; play dates have not been an option up until recently when his health has been stable,” Wolfe said. “Preschool is barely a thought for us, but on the horizon.”

The most recent news has been good, she said. Dylan’s diagnostic tumor has shrunk, and “the current tumors on his last MRI show stable,” Wolfe said. “I’m hoping we’ll see shrinkage because of the new meds.”

She’s also been encouraged by her co-workers’ efforts.

“My heart just melted when I heard the firm date of the fundraiser,” Wolfe said. “I can’t put into words how grateful I am and how much I appreciate all the love and support that my son is going to be receiving from strangers just because they want to participate in a worthy cause.”

 

If you go

What: Challenge for Dylan

When: Saturday at noon

Where: Title Boxing Club, 87 Frasier Alley, Pasadena

Cost: $30 for participants; $10 for spectators 

Tickets: www.FireFamilyFoundation.org/dylan



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