Strangers give ‘determined’ Air Force vet, Virginia firefighter battling cancer a ‘great day’

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Strangers, friends and family members rallied around an Air Force veteran and firefighter battling cancer during a benefit at Kindred Spirit Brewing Sunday.

Mike Lecik was diagnosed with late-stage multiple myeloma, which requires chemo and radiation, earlier this year. Shortly after that, he suffered a seizure which led to paralysis. He returned home on the Fourth of July after recovering at McGuire VA Medical Center for 96 days.

"You know we’re going on nine months of support," Tiffany Lecik, Mike's wife, said. "That's really unmatched anywhere."

The family has been adjusting to their new normal, which Ms. Lecik said her husband will conquer.

"He is determined. He is stubborn," Ms. Lecik said. "He has always been stubborn and I think this is the one time that its going to pay off for him to be stubborn, because he is just determined that no matter what is occurring, he is going to overcome it."

Lecik Family

Ms. Lecik said the family could not have made it without the help of those around them.

"They see that he has been a volunteer with his community and done a lot of good things for people too and they want to help him," she said.

Accordingly, friends rallied to help adapt the family's Powhatan home to make things more accessible.

“There can be significant structural changes have to happen in a split-level home. Potentially put in a lift to get him from the ground to the floor with the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms are,” Dr. Timothy Lavis told WTVR CBS 6 in July.

Those home updates have given Mr. Lecik he freedom to help in the kitchen. And soon additional safety features will be installed in their bathroom.

"The time has been the biggest thing," Ms. Lecik said. "You think about people making monetary donations, but more than monetary donations, people are donating their time."

Additionally, friends created an online donation site to help raise money for the renovation costs, which are estimated at up to nearly $90,000, and an adaptive vehicle, which range between $20,000 and $60,000.

Physical therapy

Every dollar from Sunday’s benefit at Kindred Spirit Brewing, which featured music from Shawn Fenner, went directly to the family, organizers said.

"Literally his entire life has been spent giving to us and making us a better community, so I just want to tell them thank you," said family friend Tori Misseri, who was moved by the turnout Sunday.

"You know these people they’ve never met him before," Misseri said. "And to have somebody who’s a complete stranger, give their heart to you and... It's just wonderful that everybody has been able to give so much to make a great day for him."

The Lecik family said they will never forget the outpouring of love and support.

"People really across the whole nation that have reached out to support us through this," Ms. Lecik said.

The family also plans to pay it forward.

"It may not be tomorrow or next month or next year, but at some point we will repay our community for what they have done for us," Ms. Lecik said.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Lecik family. 

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.