Surprise ‘wellness check’ for retired Wrightstown firefighter battling cancer

Local News

WRIGHTSTOWN, Wis. (WFRV) – Gene Vande Hey has been a brave firefighter for more than 40 years with the Wrightstown Fire Department.

Friends say it’s no surprise Gene’s taking that spirit into his battle with cancer.

Firefighters from around the Fox Valley made a surprise house call to visit Gene since the health crisis has limited his visitors.

Wrightstown Firefighter, Captain John Christensen, says it’s that isolation that prompted his department along with neighboring departments to organize a drive-by.

Christensen says, “We want to show Gene support and basically let him know he’s not alone.”

Gene’s daughter, Gina Thousand says, “He thought a few of the members of the fire department were coming over to do a walk-by through the window. So he was pleasantly surprised. I think it was very touching to him.”

The community looked on as fire trucks blared their sirens to show support in the best way Gene’s family of firefighters could during this pandemic.

Gene has beaten cancer twice before and friends, the community, and Local 5 wish him all the best!


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