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Phoenix firefighter dies after 13-year battle with occupational cancer

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Posted at 7:10 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 22:32:20-04

PHOENIX — A member of the Phoenix Fire Department has died after battling occupational cancer for more than a decade.

Firefighter Dave Mathis passed away peacefully in hospice Tuesday, following his battle with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — a battle he was fighting since 2007.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, Mathis was one of the first members assisted by the Local 493 Cancer Support Program, and among the first to get his cancer approved under the original 2001 Cancer Presumptive law. He was granted one of the first Accidental Disability Retirement awards for cancer in November 2008.⁣

Glendale Fire Department tweeted Thursday, extending condolences to the Phoenix department.

“Thankfully he was covered. Sadly there are still firefighters fighting for coverage over 10 years later. RIP Dave,” the message from Glendale Fire Department said.

Earlier this year, Republican senators Paul Boyer and Heather Carter introduced a bill which would allow firefighters to receive workers' compensation benefits if they get diagnosed with specific cancers. The bill made for a more inclusive list of the types of cancers that are more commonly seen in females that receive workers' compensation benefits. It also addressed the problem of governments denying benefits to first responders.