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Help a Local Volunteer Firefighter Battle His Brain Tumor

Basking Ridge volunteer firefighter Nick Cianciara is helping another ailing firefighter, Evan Holtz, survive while he fights a brain tumor. Read how you can help.

"Volunteer" is Evan Holtz's middle name. He has spent his life in service to his fellow citizens of Bridgewater locally, and in Somerset County on whole. 

Holtz has worked as a Bridgewater 911 Dispatcher, a County Hills Volunteer Fireman, a paid EMT for Clinton Rescue Squad and Somerset Medical Center, and a Volunteer EMT for Branchburg Rescue Squad.

But Holtz hit a brick wall when he discovered he had a brain tumor. His friends and family say the tumor isn't cancerous, but it still has to be treated, and that's been hard on Holtz. 

He's been out of work and can't volunteer with his beloved rescue groups because of the radiation treatments he's been receiving. An update on a Facebook page devoted to his illness said that Holtz's tumor has grown one percent in size, and he was off to receive Gamma Knife therapy for it at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center.

Holtz isn't alone, though. A Basking Ridge volunteer fireman Nick Cianciara heard about Holt'z plight while away at school at Elon University in North Carolina. The sophomore decided to do his best to help Holtz. He first set a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $2,500 to help defray the expenses associated with Holtz's care.

It wasn't enough for Cianciara. He also decided to run a 2.8 mile marathon on Saturday, dressed in 67 lbs. of firefighter gear, from one firehouse to another. The idea was to get people to pledge money for Cianciara's run as a way of reaching the $2,500 goal. 

"It is possible to make a huge difference in someone's life," Cianciara said in a Youtube video his college did on his volunteer activities for the ailing firefighter

But Cianciara and other Holtz wellwishers couldn't wait to raise the money. Through other fundraising efforts, the $2,500 goal was just recently met. After the race, Cianciara will meet Holtz for the first time at the finish line, he said in the interview.

That doesn't mean Holtz won't need more money as he recovers from the brain tumor treatment. The GoFundMe page is still open for those who care to help.


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