Denton firefighter dies from cancer

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Colleagues rallied publicly to support Michael Bell, family

Denton firefighter Michael Bell died Sunday evening after a struggle with a rare form of brain cancer. 

Bell, 49, received public recognition last month when friends and co-workers rallied at the Denton Central Fire Station to raise money to help him and his family cover medical expenses.

More than 83 people — including three women — committed to shaving their heads during the event to show their unwavering support for their fellow “brother.”

Organizers said the November fundraiser brought in $4,300.

Bell was diagnosed with gliosarcoma, a form of brain cancer, a little more than a year ago. He had undergone four surgeries and several rounds of radiation.

Gliosarcoma is a relatively rare malignant neoplasm accounting for about 2 percent of all glioblastoma cases, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

After learning of the Tioga resident’s death, friends posted memories of Bell on the Denton Record-Chronicle’s Facebook page.

“Mike taught me a few things when I was a rookie in ’95, but his latest lesson to me is to cherish everyone in your life and take nothing for granted,” posted Chris Ahrens. “Rest easy, brother.”

Chuck Crozier reposted a message on behalf of Laura McClain Nicholson.

“Mike helped me out more than once with information on hazmat calls. He also helped me work through a call that stuck with me, setting aside his obvious uncomfortable-ness with the whole situation to help me.”

“RIP Mike Bell — you will always be one of the good guys to me,” Nicholson posted.

In January, Bell would have celebrated 20 years of service with the Denton Fire Department as a firefighter/driver/

paramedic, according to friends and family.

Services are pending with Slay Memorial Funeral Center in Aubrey.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is

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