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 firstname.lastname@example.org.