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FDNY Hosts Healthy Eating Cook-Off to Benefit Cancer Survivors, Research

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The FDNY IS taking a bite out of cancer.

Scores of hungry firefighters, EMTs, 911 dispatchers and friends and family descended on FDNY headquarters Tuesday to participate in a feast that highlighted the department’s ongoing fight against cancer.

The “Cook Off For Cancer” at Downtown Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center promoted healthy eating to combat the potentially deadly disease.

Currently, more than 1,000 active and retired FDNY members are battling a 9/11-related cancer, department officials said. That’s already on top of the 169 FDNY first responders who have already died of a cancer that can be directly linked to their time at Ground Zero.

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“So many of our members are suffering,” Dr. Kerry Kelly, the FDNY’s chief medical officer said last week. “On a given week we will see two to four new cases.”

Seven firehouses from across the city participated in the event, cooking up healthy, delicious food for the dozens of people paying the $10 entrance fee.

“This was the first-ever cook-off at headquarters ... we’ve had nothing but rave reviews,” said Dominique Joseph, one of four oncology case managers for the FDNY’s World Trade Center Health Program.

“We ran out of food,” she said, when asked about the event’s success.

The cook-off raised about $8,000, including $2,000 from admissions, which was matched by Resort World Casino.

The rest of the money was made by selling T-shirts, snacks and other items, officials said.

Highlights of the afternoon included dishes from Firefighter Barry McWilliams of Ladder 151 in Forest Hills, Queens, who presented pesto whole wheat pasta with broccoli and peas; and AJ Fusco of the Harrison Fire Department in Westchester County, who brought shrimp and chorizo with slow roasted fennel and tomato over farro.

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Retired Firefighter Ray Cooney from the television show Firehouse Kitchen was also on hand and prepared garlic chicken, sausage peppers, escarole and bean soup with a Caesar salad.

Money raised from the event will go to the American Cancer Society, the FDNY Foundation’s Fired Up for a Cure, and several local groups that provide support services for survivors, officials said.

The Ray Pfeifer Foundation, named after firefighter Ray Pfeifer, a driving force in getting the federal Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act extended for sick first responders who worked at Ground Zero, will also receive some financial help from the event. The Pfeifer Foundation assists first responders with medical needs not covered by insurance.

Other beneficiaries include the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation, which organizes volunteers to escort cancer survivors to chemotherapy and other medical appointments.

Source: NY Daily News