Westport’s firefighters are always there for us.
Now it’s time for us to help one of them.
Turk Aksoy has been a Westport firefighter since 2006, when he was the top-ranked candidate for appointment. Before fulfilling his long-time dream job, Turk had been a paramedic.
He raises funds for veterans’ organizations by racing in triathlons, and competing in Tough Mudder events.
In 2014 — just 41 years old — Turk was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. Doctors told him there is a 5-year survival rate of 14%. He was given 3 years to live.
Five years later, Turk is still fighting. He continued to work — scheduling treatment around his department shifts. His fellow firefighters were awed by his strong, resilient and brave attitude.
In December — when the cancer spread to his liver and lungs — Turk’s condition and his aggressive medical treatments made it impossible to continue to work.
But that’s not all he’s facing.On January 30 — his 46th birthday — Turk’s beautiful wife and source of constant support, Denise, died unexpectedly.
The emotional toll on Turk and his children, Tess and Tyson, has been devastating.
The kids are as remarkable as their parents. Tess, 14, just finished her freshman year at Nonnewaug High School. She is president of Pony Pals 4H Club, and a member of Future Farmers of America. She hopes for a career in equine science.
Tyson, 12, is energetic and athletic. He loves lacrosse, outdoor exploration and photography.
His brothers and sisters in the Westport Fire Department are rallying around Turk, Tess and Tyson.
But they can’t do it alone. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page, to help Turk “as he fights his illness with dignity and confidence.”
Donations will help Tess and Tyson achieve their educational goals and dreams.
Click here — and give as generously as Turk, and his colleagues, have always given to us.
(Hat tips: Dave Wilson and Trissie Rost)