Greg Pratt, a Yellowknife-based firefighter, has received over $50,000 in donations through GoFundMe after developing a rare form of cancer.
“It’s unbelievable,” said David de Lugt, the organizer of the campaign. “I was blown away, in tears, I couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe the generosity.”
After his development, Pratt was taken to hospital in Edmonton on Dec. 16 where he stayed for about three weeks.
While the results haven’t been finalized, medical professionals have all but confirmed Pratt’s condition.
“We’re still waiting for some final biopsy results,” said Lugt. “The phrasing from the doctors that he’s been working with is, “If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”
According to Lugt, the discovery of Pratt’s condition was made during the MRI testing phase where it was suspected that there was a mass on either his pancreas or liver.
“It actually ended up being a mass in between the liver,” he said. “It (was) shocking. It’s heartbreaking, and kind of the overwhelming note that I’m getting from everyone who’s reaching out is that nobody deserves it less than Greg.”
“Too good of a person to deserve this,” he continued.
Among everything else, the current climate of Covid has also made it challenging for friends and family to check in on Pratt’s progress.
“Both my wife and I—we would have been down there in a heartbeat to spend time with Greg and his partner Chrissy over the holidays or the new year,” said Lugt. “But with COVID looming we’re not going to make things better by being potential exposures and visiting Greg in the hospital and all that sort of stuff.”
Pratt is set to meet with medical professionals over the coming week to figure out what the next steps should be.
“(From that) we’ll have a better idea of when Greg will be able to return to Yellowknife and what the long-term treatment plan will look like from there,” said Lugt.
As for Pratt and Lugt, their close friendship started around 10 years ago when he first moved up to Yellowknife. He and Pratt would end up working together for around three to four years before Pratt started realizing his dream of becoming a firefighter.
“So the organization that he worked at was a good stepping stone in that direction,” said Lugt. “Eventually, he worked as a paid on call firefighter for a few years before he applied and then ended up getting a full time position there.”
Regarding his creation of the GoFundMe campaign, Lugt says he’s simply thankful for everybody doing what they can to help.
“He deserves all of the support,” he said.