TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Laura Baker's home is filled with memories of firefighting. It was the career she pursued alongside her wife, Jacki deHaro.
"I loved my work and I will give back and help others as much as I can, in whatever form that is. I love our community, but I am going to take care of myself. I know I need to, especially with my grief," said Baker.
DeHaro was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2018. She fought hard for two years.
"She was a fighter. She was full of life. We decided we will live. We were going to live through this and be grateful for every day," said Baker.
Baker and deHaro worked together at the Tucson Fire Department. In recent years, the department has been at the center of research studies to learn about the link between firefighting and cancer.
"As a firefighter there are inherent risks that you take. As we sign up for the service, I think we're aware of that. However, we didn't know, back when I got on, what we know now," said Baker.
Reducing exposure to cancerous chemicals is what the department is actively doing to prevent future diagnoses.
"All the things that our health and safety division and training division are doing to help educate our firefighters is where it's at. Our firefighters must listen," said Baker.
DeHaro's memory is kept alive inside the Baker home and Tucson Fire Department. Their safety is something Baker hopes to continue to advocate for.
"That's what I'm going to do because that's what Jacki would want me to do. To live each day to the fullest. I have this life before me and each day is a gift," said Baker.
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