Loved Ones Looking to ‘Fill the Boot' for Firefighter With Rare Form of Cancer

When a San Bernardino County firefighter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his loved ones certainly weren't going to let him fight this battle alone.

"We have to get him through this, no matter what," said Jeremy Pendergraft of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

SBCF is looking raise money to support Cory Norton, who was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma near his lumbar spine, said Kellie Hoverman, a department spokeswoman.

"Cory learned that this cancer was so rare, the physician had never dealt with this in his 28-year career," Hoverman said in a news release.

His chances of recovering are unknown, due to the rare form of cancer, its location and its potential to spread.

Early in his career, Norton was injured in a fall that caused him to break several vertebrae in his spine. He managed to make a full recovery after multiple surgeries and rehabilitation.

Oncologists later discovered the malignant tumor that was causing him so much back pain was cancer. Since then, the tumor has grown to his spine and lungs.

Pendergraft said this diagnosis has taken Norton's family aback -- but it's made them reevaluate what's important.

"They stand firm in their faith that he will make a full recovery," said Pendergraft, who is also a family friend.

Financial donations will go towards Norton's treatments.

"Cory is humbled and blown away by all the support he's receiving," Pendergraft said. "He spent 10 years serving the community, so when something like this happens, the community rallied around him to return the favor."

Donate to the "Fight On Cory Norton" fund here.

Help "Fill the Boot" from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at these locations:

  • Goodwin's on 24089 Lake Gregory Drive in Crestline
  • Jensen's Finest Food on 27264 CA-189 in Blue Jay
  • Upper and lower parking lots of Lake Arrowhead Village
  • Intersection of Hwy 18 and Hwy 330
  • Jensen's Finest Foods on Hilltop Blvd. in Running Springs
  • Big Bear Lake Village
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