Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Hero Firefighters and Their Emotional Story

Hero Firefighters and Their Emotional Story


– I LOVE OUR VIEWERS. THEY TELL US ABOUT INSPIRING
PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES, AND WE RECEIVED
A NUMBER OF EMAILS ABOUT THIS NEXT FAMILY. I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU
TO MEET THEM. HERE’S THEIR STORY. – [giggles] – [chuckles] I’M JESS. AND WE HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL
LITTLE GIRLS NAMED KENDALL AND MCKENNA, AND WE ARE FROM PITTSBURGH,
PENNSYLVANIA. MATT HAS BEEN A CITY
OF PITTSBURGH FIRE FIGHTER FOR EIGHT YEARS NOW, AND HE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED
WITH ALS FOR SEVEN. WE HAD TO ACCEPT,
YOU KNOW, THE CARDS
THAT WE WERE DEALT WITH, AND–AND– – AND WE’VE BEEN HAVING FUN
EVER SINCE. WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SUCH
AN AWESOME GROUP OF PEOPLE, FAMILY, FRIENDS,
COMMUNITY, TO COME AROUND
AND RALLY WITH US AND SUPPORT US. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE
THIS EXPERIENCE AS ANY OTHER WAY
THAN AMAZING. WHENEVER MATT
FIRST WENT OFF THE JOB, THE GUYS
ON HIS FIRE DEPARTMENT STARTED WORKING
HIS SHIFTS FOR HIM SO MATT COULD STILL RECEIVE
A PAYCHECK TO CARE
FOR OUR FAMILY. – GUYS WERE WORKING
FIVE EXTRA SHIFTS. I MEAN,
JUST ANYWHERE POSSIBLE. WE WERE FIGHTING TO TAKE
THE EXTRA DAYS. – WHAT HE’S BEEN THROUGH
AND DONE EVERYTHING, THIS GUY
IS MY HERO. LIKE, HE MAKES ME CHEER UP
WHEN I’M SAD. – WATCHING THEM
DEAL WITH THEIR DISEASE BRINGS OUT
THE BEST IN YOU. THEY HELP ME
BE A BETTER PARENT. – WHAT MATT’S DOING TODAY,
WHAT MATT DID YESTERDAY, WHAT MATT’S
GONNA DO TOMORROW, THAT’S THE FAVORITE MEMORY
RIGHT THERE. IT’S HEROIC, AND IT IS
AN INSPIRATION. – YEAH, WE’RE PRETTY– YEAH, WE’VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY
THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS. WE’VE BEEN VERY LUCKY. [cries and sniffles] VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE CITY
OF PITTSBURGH FIRE DEPARTMENT AND ALL THAT THEY’VE DONE
AND THEY CONTINUE TO DO FOR US. HONESTLY WE’VE BEEN LIVING LIFE
A LOT MORE DIFFERENTLY. – HELLO. [laughs] HELLO. [laughs] – PLEASE WELCOME
MATT AND JESS ONYSHKO. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] Y’ALL ARE FANTASTIC. ALL RIGHT. YOU’RE GONNA NEED
A LOT OF THESE. THE WHOLE AUDIENCE NEEDS THEM
RIGHT NOW. – OH, MY GOODNESS.
– OKAY. – I TRIED TO COME PREPARED.
– BOY, OH, BOY. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON
IN YOUR LIVES, AND THE POSITIVITY
IN YOU SAYING, “WE’VE BEEN HAVING FUN
EVER SINCE,” THAT JUST GOT TO ME. IT JUST–IT’S LIKE,
THAT IS YOUR CHOICE, ‘CAUSE WE–THAT’S THE ONLY THING
WE HAVE A CHOICE IS OUR REACTION
TO SOMETHING. AND YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. YOU ARE
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. – THANK YOU. [cheers and applause] – DID THE CHOICE–
DID YOU– HOW DO YOU STAY
SO POSITIVE? OR WERE YOU BOTH
ALWAYS THIS POSITIVE EVEN BEFORE THE DIAGNOSIS? – I THINK WE’VE ALWAYS TRIED
TO BE POSITIVE. BUT, I MEAN,
THROUGH THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE, YOU GET TO SEE THE LOVE
AND GENEROSITY OF OTHER PEOPLE
ON A REGULAR BASIS. I MEAN, PEOPLE HAVE REALLY
COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK TO HELP US, AND–
SORRY. AND WE GET TO EXPERIENCE THAT
EVERY DAY, ON A REGULAR BASIS, AND THAT’S REALLY AMAZING. – YEAH, AND YOU MET
ABOUT A YEAR BEFORE YOU GOT MARRIED, RIGHT? – ABOUT A YEAR– ABOUT ALMOST
TWO YEARS BEFORE–YEAH. – AND WHERE DID YOU MEET?
– EMT CLASS. [laughs] AND IT’S ACTUALLY KIND
OF A FUNNY STORY. SO WE MET IN EMT CLASS. AND THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS,
I GO OUT THERE, AND, YOU KNOW,
I DIDN’T SEE ANYBODY, YOU KNOW,
THAT CAUGHT MY EYE, SO THE SECOND EMT– ‘CAUSE MATT WASN’T THERE.
MATT WASN’T THERE. YEAH, LET ME–
LET ME ELABORATE THERE. [laughs] AND SO THE SECOND DAY
OF EMT CLASS, I’M DRIVING UP, AND I SEE HIM
SITTING ON THE CORNER. I’M LIKE,
“HE IS REALLY GOOD-LOOKING,” AND I WAS A MESS. I DIDN’T HAVE ANY MAKEUP ON.
MY HAIR WASN’T DONE. I WAS LIKE,
“OH, MY GOODNESS. WHAT’S THIS GOOD-LOOKING MAN
DOING HERE?” SO WHEN I WALKED UP
TO HIM, I DIDN’T SAY HELLO. I DIDN’T SAY,
“HI, I’M JESSICA.” I SAID, “YOU WEREN’T HERE
LAST CLASS.” [laughter] AND HE WAS LIKE, “NO,”
AND I WAS LIKE– I WAS JUST TAKEN ABOUT
HOW GOOD-LOOKING HE WAS. AND THEN HE CHASED ME AROUND
FOR A COUPLE MONTHS AFTER. NO, HE DIDN’T, BUT… – SO DID YOU GET TOGETHER
RIGHT AWAY? DID YOU KNOW
RIGHT AWAY, MATT, THAT YOU WERE
GONNA MARRY HER? – I KNEW THAT
FROM CONVERSATION. – THE FIRST–YEAH.
– YEAH, YEAH. I WAS GONNA MARRY HER. – FIRST CONVERSATION.
– THE FIRST CONVERSATION. I MEAN, THE THING ABOUT
THIS DISEASE ALSO– I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH
PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT ALS– IS, YOUR MIND STAYS
EXACTLY THE SAME. YOU’RE AWARE. YOU’RE COMPLETELY A BRILLIANT
HUMAN BEING STILL, AND YOUR BODY JUST CHANGES, AND THAT IS
A TOUGH THING FOR– ESPECIALLY FOR ANYONE,
MUCH LESS A FIRE FIGHTER. AND YOU HAVE
ALL THESE FIRE FIGHTERS WHO HAVE TAKEN
ON YOUR SHIFTS. THEY’RE WORKING EXTRA SHIFTS
SO YOU GET PAID. – MM-HMM.
– I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS. – IT’S AMAZING. – [speaking indistinctly] – AND THEY’VE BEEN DOING IT
FOR OVER THREE YEARS NOW. – YEAH, THEY WON’T STOP SO THAT HE CONTINUES
TO GET PAID. THEY HAVE– [cheers and applause] I SAY IT
ALL THE TIME ANYWAY. I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS. I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS, AND THEY’RE
AN AMAZING SUPPORT SYSTEM. WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW IS,
SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS ARE HERE. COME ON OUT. WE HAVE BILL AND JERROD– [cheers and applause] [sentimental music] [cheers and applause] WE COULDN’T FIT
AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE WANTED
TO SURPRISE YOU WITH. THIS IS A SURPRISE, BUT WE HAVE
A BIGGER SURPRISE. SO LET’S CHECK IN
WITH JEANNIE, WHO IS AT YOUR FIREHOUSE
IN PITTSBURGH, AND LOOK AT WHO– [cheers and applause] HI, JEANNIE. SOME ONE PITTSBURGH’S FINEST.
– HI, ELLEN! – JEANNIE, TELL US
WHO YOU’RE THERE WITH. – OH, MY GOSH, ELLEN. I’M HERE WITH A BUNCH
OF PITTSBURGH FIRE FIGHTERS, THEIR FAMILIES, INCLUDING
CAPTAIN RON BARTOLOWITS, WHO HAS BEEN A PITTSBURGH
FIRE FIGHTER FOR 28 YEARS. – WOW, AMAZING. [cheers and applause] AND YOU’RE
FROM ALL OVER THE CITY. SO IF YOU HAVE TO GO,
IF THERE’S A BELL OR SOMETHING, DON’T THINK YOU HAVE TO– YOU DON’T NEED TO STAY
AND TALK TO US. YOU CAN RUN OFF
IF YOU NEED TO, OKAY? – NO, YOU AIN’T GETTING RID
OF US THAT EASY. – ALL RIGHT, WELL– ALL RIGHT, I SEE. IT’S PROBABLY
JUST TOAST BURNING. [laughter] SO IT’S NOT JUST
ENGINE COMPANY 32 THAT’S HELPED
MATT’S FAMILY. IT’S BEEN
THE ENTIRE PITTSBURGH AREA, SO WE WANTED TO GIVE
SOMETHING BACK TO YOU. I HAVE SIGNED AND FRAMED
A PAIR OF ELLEN BOXERS FOR THE FIREHOUSE
AND SENT A PAIR– [cheers and applause] – WHOO! [laughing] – ALL RIGHT, AND WE– WE REALLY COULDN’T DO
THESE THINGS WITHOUT SHUTTERFLY. THEY HELP US
IN SO MANY WAYS, AND WE WANT TO HELP YOU, AND WE’RE GONNA GIVE YOU
A CHECK FOR $50,000. [cheers and applause] – ARE YOU GUYS SERIOUS? [crying]
OH, MY GOD. I GOT TO HUG YOU! – ALL RIGHT,
WE’LL BE BACK! [cheers and applause]


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