Mark Meyer spent more than 15-years with the Tulsa Fire Department. But during a routine check-up in 2012, doctors discovered a tumor in the firefighter's stomach.
What Meyer thought was extra calories and getting older, turned out to be cancer. That year doctors removed a 32-pound tumor, and later discovered metastasis in his lungs.
It was at that point Meyer retired from his dream job. He then spent his time creating the charity "Hydrants of Hope" for kids fighting the same disease as him.
"He looked over and saw a child going through what he was going through and he said "how can I complain when this child is going through this at that age?" TFD Captain Matt Sheare said.
To date it has raised more than $150,000, helping multiple children battling cancer at St. Francis Hospital.
He dedicated his final years to this cause, as well as advocating for everyone to get checked by doctors regularly.
"Even when things are tough, the citizens look at us for hope and that's what we need to be able to bring to them. He was really good at inspiring people to do things better," Sheare said.
Meyer's fellow firefighters describe him as encouraging and amazing, with a gigantic heart. They say he taught his team how to love their neighbors, and demonstrated what it looks like to put the needs of others first.
"There's only one Mark Meyers.... just his friendship. That's what we'll miss the most," Sheare said.
They didn't expect to say goodbye so quickly.
"He's fought so many times and beat so many battles through this that you just keep expecting him to come out the other side and walk out. This time it was different," Kendall Williams said.
TFD staff say Meyer constantly showed what love looks like, when while fighting for his life.
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