Community rallies behind cancer-stricken Westport firefighter and his family
WESTPORT — Community members are rallying around a veteran town firefighter and his family after recent events have left him out of work for several months.
A GoFundMe has been created to raise money for Turk Aksoy and his children, and a fundraiser for the family is planned in Norwalk next month.
Before Aksoy joined the fire department, he was a paramedic for two years.
“Young and athletic, Turk has raced many triathlons and completed several grueling Tough Mudder events, participating as a way to raise money for various veterans’ organizations,” the GoFundMe description reads.
Aksoy joined the Westport Fire Department in 2006. Then, Aksoy was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer on May 15, 2014, at the age of 41. At the time, his doctor told him his type of cancer has an average five-year survival rate, the GoFundMe said. Five years later, he’s still fighting.
“With metastasis to his liver and lungs, Turk's condition and coinciding aggressive treatments has made it impossible for him to work,” the GoFundMe description said.
But he and his family suffer another emotional blow in January when Aksoy’s wife Denise (Sanders) Aksoy died on his 46th birthday on Jan. 30. The GoFundMe description said she died “tragically and unexpectedly.” She was 45.
“Her death has left an almost unbearable emotional toll on Turk and his children,” it said. After the loss of his wife, Aksoy took on sole responsibility of raising his children Tess, 14, and Tyson, 12.
The fundraiser is to be held at Partner’s Cafe & Pizzeria on Cove Avenue in Norwalk from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $25. Funds for the event are expected to go toward Aksoy’s children’s education.
And the GoFundMe page has already raised nearly $5,000 in two days. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.
“We, the brothers and sisters of the Westport Fire Department, have a responsibility to take care of Turk, Tess, and Tyson the best we can,” the GoFundMe description said. “We cannot however, do it alone. Please help us help Turk and his children. A donation can go a long way to assisting Turk as he fights his illness with dignity and confidence. A donation helps us help Tess and Tyson achieve their educational goals and dreams.”