Vol. firefighter battling terminal brain cancer with community’s support

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Those who have known Perry Fortescue said he has spent his life serving his community and helping others as a volunteer firefighter at the Bunyan Fire Department in Beaufort County. It is now their turn to support and help him, as he fights terminal brain cancer.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered to make Fortescue’s wish a reality. Earlier in the week, he had told lifelong friend Vic Williams he wanted to see Christmas lights and sing Christmas carols one last time.

So, with the help of many, Williams made Fortescue’s wish a reality. He was loaded up on a stretcher in the back of a pick up truck, and was driven through the Smallwood neighborhood to see lights.

William’s wife Mary Susan Williams said it was the least they could do.

“Perry is just a great guy. He would give you the shirt off his back,” she said.

Those who organized it said they were amazed to see hundreds of people show up to sing Christmas carols at the Washington waterfront.

“It just shows what Perry meant to his community,” Williams said. “He was always involved in his community, the Bunyan fire department. He was always there helping.”

By the end of singing, there were very few dry eyes. However, those who knew Fortescue the best said it meant the world to make his wish a reality.

Family said although he is a fighter, he likely only has weeks left to live.

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