Firefighter inspires fight against cancer

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Firefighter inspires fight against cancer

Published Monday, July 30, 2012   |  284 Words  |  

Honor. Courage. Commitment. Brotherhood. These words describe the dedicated men and women of today's fire service.

They perform countless acts of courage in hazardous conditions, often putting themselves at risk to save others. They attend hours of training to keep abreast of the latest threats, techniques and equipment technologies. They care deeply for each other and do their best to ensure that, at shift's end, everyone goes home safe and sound.

An example of this lasting brotherhood now exists within a local department. Members of the Parris Island Fire & Rescue Division are preparing to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon this November to raise money for cancer research due to the recent loss of firefighter Robert "Banny" Banfield. Banny was an eight-year veteran of the fire division and was an outstanding employee, co-worker and friend. He was an avid runner and swimmer who often competed in biathlons. Banny was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer and passed away on April 25.

Parris Island firefighters decided they would run a marathon to honor Banny, but also do something to help fight cancer. One of the runners, Capt. Shane White, will attempt to set a new world record by solving 101 Rubik's Cubes while participating in the race. Additional information is available at All proceeds will be donated to Beaufort Memorial Hospital's Keyserling Cancer Center.

Few families escape this disease. I urge everyone to continue supporting cancer research as we strive to become a cancer-free society.

Kelvin D. Canaday

Retired Parris Island fire chief