It is always a sad day to hear about the loss of yet another unsung hero.
It becomes utterly heartbreaking to know the family and life these heroes have left behind.
News has been released that Keith Young, who was a firefighter working tirelessly to save lives on that fateful day during 9/11, has recently passed away of synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer often related to the 9/11 attacks.
This death happened to be within a week of another hero’s death – Thomas Phelan, who had also been a fellow firefighter 17 years ago and had also passed on due to cancer.
Theirs was not an isolated event – plenty of firefighters have passed away due to an illness that is related to being up close and personal with the destruction of the Towers.
These illnesses were often dubbed “WTC-related illnesses” or “9/11-related illnesses”.
In the case of Keith Young, however, the news is tragic for some people that are very near and dear to his heart – his remaining children, his two daughters, 24-years-old Kaley, and 14-years-old Keira, and his son, 20-year-old Christian.
At the eldest child at the age of 24, Kaley has been left in charge as her younger sister’s legal guardian.
Keith was an incredibly active member of the community in his day, and was often seen helping lives when he wasn’t spending time with his wife and three children.
He also happened to be a passionate chef and was known as the ‘firehouse chef’, and had even made celebrity appearances on cooking TV shows such as Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Chopped.
His passion for cooking was so great, it led him to authoring a cookbook and the incredibly idea of inventing the Cup Board Pro in 2010 – a device that was a cutting board that had a cup attached to it, which would allow for easier cleanup while cutting.
Unfortunately, while perfecting his invention, his family suffered the devastating loss of Keith’s wife, Elizabeth, who passed away two years later in 2012 due to breast cancer.
Now, his remaining children have to contend with the unjust loss of their father at such a young age as well.
At only the age of 53, Keith passed away earlier this year on March 17, 2018, due to the cancer he had developed as a result of being one of the first responders for 9/11.
By then his invention had been perfected, but he was yet to have it successfully marketed to consumers.
Determined to see their father’s dream come to fruition in the wake of his death, the children had themselves featured on the show Shark Tank in hopes of raising funding to have Keith’s invention marketed.
Their pitch was so emotional, it nearly made Daymond John, one of the sharks, walk off the set due to being overwhelmed by his emotions.
This was especially so since he was there to witness the incident in person, and had lost so many friends from it.
The end result?
A rare, unanimous decision that was shared by all five sharks.