Los Angeles, California, Council Member Tom LaBonge will kick off CODE 3 FOR A CURE, firefighter/cancer survivors, both active and retired, on a mission to extinguish cancer. President & Founder Lorenzo Abundiz, a retired Santa Ana (CA) firefighter, was compelled to form the mission after his own personal battles with three types of cancer and witnessing many of his firefighting comrades die from this terrible disease. The firefighters will drive a fire engine across America and into Canada to unite with firefighters in the war against all cancer. The firefighters will share their cancer experiences and bring awareness of the need for early cancer screenings to firefighters and the public. The firefighters will also accept donations along the way to build a fund so that financial assistance can be provided to individual firefighters diagnosed with cancer who are facing a financial hardship.
The CODE 3 firefighters will carry with them a memorial fire bell which will be used to perform fire department ceremonies throughout the country to honor their fallen comrades, and to remember that it was their sacrifices that paved a way for the better safety equipment and procedures used by firefighters of today. There will be one empty seat on the fire engine at all times dedicated to signify the loss of a firefighter from cancer. Throughout the journey, the Code 3 firefighters will collect the names of firefighters who have died from cancer and place them on that seat of honor. At the completion of their journey the CODE 3 firefighters will perform a fire department memorial service and read off all the names collected from their journey. The fire bell will ring out once for each name called.
Lorenzo, who is currently fighting prostrate cancer, is a 27 year veteran firefighter and a Medal of Valor recipient. Lorenzo’s motto is: “Hey, we are firefighters and if we can extinguish fires, we can extinguish cancer.” Top Hollywood celebrities have expressed their support for CODE 3 FOR A CURE on the www.code3foracure.org Web site. As they travel throughout the country, the CODE 3 firefighters are asking anyone who sees them on the road to give them three fingers up to symbolize CODE “3” in support of their mission.