Community rallies around Roswell firefighter diagnosed with brain tumor

New Mexico

People in Roswell are rallying around one of their firemen. He was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is now in Phoenix facing treatment and surgery.

Lt. Cory Mealand has been a firefighter for the city of Roswell since 2007. Joining at 20 years old, he followed in his family’s tradition of service with the fire department.

“Hard worker, big strong guy, so this was kind of out of left field for him,โ€ said Fire Chief Devin Graham.

He’s now fighting his own battle after being diagnosed with a brain tumor less than three weeks ago. The seemingly healthy firefighter says he started to get terrible headaches, and after a CT scan they quickly found out why: a tumor on his pituitary gland.

“Next thing you know, we’re getting paperwork says you’re going to Phoenix, the tumor was bigger than what we thought,โ€ said Mealand.

Mealand and his wife, Kate, say it’s turned their lives upside down. Many questions still remain unanswered, but they do know the tumor, about the size of a grape, is not cancerous.

“It’s causing issues so surgery is a must, and we’re waiting to meet with a neurosurgeon now,โ€ said Mealand.

To help pay for medical bills, the fire department set up a GoFundMe account, which has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.

“Any time one of our own has some sort of health issue or somebody within their family has a health issue, the first thing we do is get a can out, old coffee can, and start taking donations within the department,โ€ said Chief Graham. โ€œThe outpouring from the public has been incredible.”

“We don’t have any words,” said Cory Mealand.

“It’s overwhelming the amount of support and love,โ€ said Kate Mealand.

The Mealands don’t know when they’ll be able to return home, but in the meantime, they want to thank everyone for their donations, thoughts and prayers.

“Ready to get this done and over and get back to work,” said Mealand.

“Ready to have some normalcy,โ€ added his wife.

Mealand is meeting with a neurosurgeon tomorrow. The fire department is also planning an enchilada dinner fundraiser soon, with all proceeds going to his medical funds.

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