Firefighter's wife loses battle with cancer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Firefighter's wife loses battle with cancer

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A firefighter's wife has lost her long battle with cancer, and now a community and a brotherhood of firefighters is coming together to honor her memory. 34-year-old Kim Baxter, the wife of Kilgore firefighter Jason Baxter, passed away Tuesday night after a two-year battle with cancer. Kim was Jason's right arm, his joy in life that he never tired of talking about.

"He talked so much of her and how much he loved her. It's just like he lost his partner on the engine company," says Kilgore Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Simmons.

"We're just asking the community they show their support for him and be by his side right now. He's devastated he just lost his wife , he's got a two-and-a half year old girl," says fellow firefighter Josh McDowell.

From the top down, ever member of the Kilgore Fire Department has been touched by Kim's struggle.

"We knew it was coming, we didn't know when. There was hope that she was going to be able to make it. Jason requested that hospice not send her to the funeral home yet, he wanted to see her one last time," says McDowell.

Fellow firefighters are paying respect to Kim's passing just like they would pay respect to a fellow firefighter's passing, because the wife of a firefighter sacrifices no less than a firefighter himself.

"It takes a special woman to be the wife of a firefighter and tolerate the unusual work schedules we work with and the emotional and physical fatigue and firefighter brings home with him. Losing her, we feel like we've lost a firefighter," Simmons says.

Fellow firefighters are going on with a fundraiser Sunday to pay for Kim's funeral arrangements.

"We're just asking that you show support for our fellow firefighter, for the guy that's there by your side when you call 9-1-1. We're still going to do it, we're going to celebrate her life, raise the funds," McDowell says.

A benefit for the Baxters will go on as scheduled this Sunday at the Kilgore Walmart starting at 9:00 a.m. If you'd like to help, a fund has been set up at Regions Bank under "Baxter family benefit." You can also make donations to the Kilgore professional firefighters association local 2996 at 214-803-9183.

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