Mayor Richard J. Berry Honors Members of AFD
July 6, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE - On Friday, July 6, 2012, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized a group of members from the Albuquerque Fire Department for coming to the aid of a co-worker when he and his family needed it most.
Vincent Cordova has served as firefighter with the Albuquerque Fire Department for the past three years. He is currently assigned to Station 14 with an outstanding crew, Lt. Greg Aragon, Driver John Luna, Firefighter David Zamora, Firefighter Chris Chavez, Paramedic Lt. Nick Griego III and Paramedic Driver Javier Renteria. Vince was diagnosed in February with Jugular Foramen Schwannoma. This type of tumor is very rare and extremely dangerous. The tumor affects only 2% of people. Before the diagnoses, Vincent lived a very active lifestyle and was stopped in his tracks with the news.
Vince has gone through multiple intensive surgeries to remove the tumor and had to relearn basic abilities like speaking and swallowing. He attends physical therapy, takes multiple medications, has weekly doctor appointments and has to eat through a feeding tube. He has a long road ahead of him but from the beginning, he has remained positive and insistent on not giving up. Vince will be out of work for the next year due to the extensive recovery process. AFD members have graciously donated vacation and sick leave hours so Vince can recover. Lt. Steve Murzyn, Lt. Paul Cordova, and Driver Reed Page have donated 100 hours or more to Vince.
Since the cost of Vince’s surgeries was not fully covered by his insurance, fundraising efforts have made it possible for his family to travel to California to assist him during the surgeries. Firefighters and people from across the country have heard about Vince’s story and have generously donated money to help. Locally, firefighters have organized fundraisers and donated to Vince. One firefighter in particular has put forth extra effort to organize car washes and dinners to raise money for Vince. AFD Lt. Martin Salazar has unselfishly given his time, money and resources to help his fellow firefighter in need.