A firefighter at the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department is being remembered as a “beacon of light” after losing his battle with cancer last Wednesday.
A small memorial to Miguel Cervantes, a 17-year veteran of the fire department, can be seen just outside Fire Station 174 in Rancho Cucamonga.
“We actually had to rush our wedding because he wanted to be married before he started the academy,” Cylina Cervantes, his wife, told KTLA. “We got married on a Sunday. His first day in the academy was Monday.”
The devoted husband, father of three and dedicated Dodger fan recently served as a firefighter engineer, who loved his job and mentoring others who showed interest in the profession.
“Miguel was a beacon of light and when people want to know how you should be as a person, and in an organization like this, when you want to know what you should be like as a firefighter, that’s what you should be like,” Rancho Cucamonga Fire District Chief Mike McCliman said while pointing to Cervantes’ memorial.
In February, Cervantes started getting stomach pains, Cylina said. At first, doctors thought it might be appendicitis, but after running tests on the firefighter, it turned out to be something much worse. Cervantes was eventually diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“…for the first two weeks, we thought that chemo was working because he was feeling better and then one day it wasn’t,” Cylina said. “We had three days from the time they had said that there was nothing else he could do.”
Despite his year-long fight with the disease and moments where he showed signs of improvement, many say his death was sudden.
Family and coworkers believe Cervantes’ death may have been work related.
Public funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m. at Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga.