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Buffalo Grove Firefighter's Cancer Fight Inspires Charity Benefit

The community is invited to a fundraiser Sunday in Arlington Heights to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a cause chosen by lymphoma patient Ryan McCarthy.

When his friend and colleague was diagnosed with lymphoma, Buffalo Grove firefighter Brian Steen wanted to help.

He originally thought he’d hold an event to raise money for Ryan McCarthy’s medical expenses. But after friends, relatives and even strangers donated nearly $14,000 to McCarthy, shattering a $10,000 online fundraising goal, the two shifted their plans.

Related: Buffalo Grove Firefighter Receives Outpouring of Support in Cancer Battle

“He decided since he did so well at raising his own funds that he’d do something to help others,” Steen said.

And so this weekend’s fundraiser will be held in McCarthy’s honor to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at Eddie’s Restaurant, 10 E. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, will feature a 50/50 raffle, a raffle awarding Eddie’s gift baskets, and a show of solidarity from Steen and other colleagues, who will have their heads publicly shaved during the event. Volunteers can have their heads shaved for a $10 donation.

“He didn’t want to lose his hair, either,” said Steen. “It’s to keep his spirits up.” 

The event, which is open to the public, will be attended by McCarthy and firefighters from around the suburbs, Steen said.

“I have complete faith that it’s going to be quite the turnout,” he said.

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