DANVERS, Mass. - Hundreds of firefighters from all over the area came to watch an 11-year-old boy play baseball -- and will keep coming to games until his dad can make it himself.
Danvers Braves' number 7 got a little extra attention during their first game of the Little League playoffs because his dad, firefighter Glenn Preston, is facing a battle against occupational cancer.
When Preston's colleagues learned he wouldn't be able to make it to his son Jake's game, they all came instead.
"He’s devastated that he can’t be here and I told him that we would get it done and not to worry," said Boston fire Lt. Roger Kendrick. "I think it really shows the goodness in people and what can be done when you really care about somebody."
From Boston to Gloucester, hundreds of firefighters lined Moulton Field on Friday evening.
"It’s the least we could do for him and his family because of what he’s going through. It’s my pleasure to be here, my honor," said Beverly fire Lt. Eric Fowler.
Preston is currently in New Jersey, recovering from surgery.
"He’s good, we were just hoping to not have to do this again because he’s already had a lot of surgeries. He’s had six surgeries and four hospitalizations,” said Eva Preston, Glenn's wife.
Glenn Preston was the focus of Boston 25 News' in-depth coverage of how occupational cancer has affected firefighters called Boston's Bravest.
He sat down with Boston 25 News anchor Blair Miller several times to discuss his lymphoma diagnosis and all the complications that followed.
His family hopes he'll be back in his own backyard soon, throwing a ball around with Jake. Until then, his fellow firefighters said they'll be here to cheer on both of them.
"It’s just part of the brotherhood," said Matt Aquaro, a Danvers firefighter.
"This isn’t really about Glenn anymore. This is about his 11-year-old son, who is having to grow up way too fast ...hopefully someday, he’ll be able to look back and that and say, 'Geez, these guys really love my dad, my dad is a great guy,'" Kendrick said.
Preston is out of the hospital in New Jersey and waiting for clearance from doctors to return to Boston. Once he recovers from surgery, he'll be able to undergo testing to see if he's in remission.
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