When he was sick, Jason Cage got support from his family. The size of that family, though, had grown significantly since becoming a member of the Alexandria Fire Department.
Suffering from the chronic disease cystic fibrosis, Cage, a veteran paramedic, endured a collapsed lung and a subsequent lung transplant earlier this year. The expensive procedure caused him to miss nine months of work. His last shift on the job was in March, right before his surgery.
“It gets expensive when you have to pay for it out of pocket,” Cage said.
Unbeknown to him, Cage’s colleague and union officer Bethany Richards organized a golf tournament to benefit their suffering co-worker and friend. The tournament raised more than $7,000 to support Cage and his wife.
The first time he saw the hefty figure was last Friday, when Richards presented him a novelty check at Market Square.
“I’ve been entirely shocked. It’s so humbling in a good way,” Cage said. “Our unity — I just couldn’t ask for a better brotherhood. They’re like a family.”
Cage has been cleared to return to work and hopes to do so this month, he said. He can’t wait.