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Firefighters Rally To Support Comrade Battling Cancer In Powerful Show Of Solidarity.

Jarrell Fire department members shave heads

When you rely on your coworkers to help keep you alive in dangerous situations, you become as close as family.

It’s no secret that becoming a firefighter means making a sacred promise to support one another, and that bond extends far beyond your average emergency. It means that when one firefighter is suffering, the others pick up the slack and support them any way they can.

24-year-old Jake Owen has been a firefighter for the Jarrell Fire Department in Jarrell, Texas for the past five years. It’s a family profession for the Owens; his father, Craig Owen, is also a firefighter in another town.

Jarrell Fire Chief Ron Stewart says Jake is “humble, kind, soft-spoken.” He drives one of the trucks, and “always has a smile on his face.”

Jake started having headaches in late 2022, and in January he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He traveled to Houston, Texas to have a 10 hour surgery to remove part of the tumor. He later had another eight hour surgery to remove the rest.

With a long road ahead of him, Chief Stewart and the rest of the team were intent on helping Jake and his family get through this difficult time. They started by covering his shifts, donating their own time to cover his hours so his paychecks never stop coming. Jake’s dad’s coworkers did the same in his town.

Chief Stewart made a call to the Houston Fire Department and secured a free apartment close to the hospital, so Jake’s family can stay close during his treatments. The department also set up a GoFundMe to help with medical costs.

Perhaps the boldest and most apparent way the Jarrell Fire Department showed their support was by grabbing some trash bags and a pair of clippers and shaving their heads in solidarity!

Chief Stewart was the first, simply showing up at the station with a freshly-shaved head.

“After that, everyone said, ‘Let’s go do it,'” the chief told Good Morning America. “It was just like, ‘We’ve got shears here today, everybody ready?’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s go.'”

About two dozen firefighters said goodbye to their locks to show Jake he’s not alone. They’ve got his back!

Chief Stewart says shaving his head was a simple decision because when one person in the department goes through something, everybody goes through it.

“When you go into a situation like going into a fire, a situation when you know that there’s a chance you could get injured or killed, when you share those experiences, there’s a bond,” he explained. “The only way to describe it is if you have a brother or sister, just that they just know you better than you know yourself. It truly is that same feeling.”

Chief Stewart and other team members have also been going to visit Jake in the hospital regularly. Jake’s family says they feel the love, and the support has been “amazing!”

Share this story to wish Jake a speedy recovery.

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