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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

SACRAMENTO FWO: Employees Raise $3,400 for Former Service Biologist's Battle With Cancer

Region 8, August 3, 2010
For one former Region 8 employee the year-long journey bridging the chasm of cancer has proven that the Service family is strong and supportive in times of need.  Steve Barre and Doug Weinrich, presented a $3,400 donation in June to Jeremy Redding, pictured here with his daughter, thanks to the generous support of many.  (Photo: Steve Barre)
For one former Region 8 employee the year-long journey bridging the chasm of cancer has proven that the Service family is strong and supportive in times of need. Steve Barre and Doug Weinrich, presented a $3,400 donation in June to Jeremy Redding, pictured here with his daughter, thanks to the generous support of many. (Photo: Steve Barre) - Photo Credit: n/a
Spurred on by the thought of helping the Reddings and by the outpouring from the Service family, Sacramento FWO employee Steve Barre rode in the grueling Sierra Century (a 100-mile-ride with 6,500 feet of elevation gain) and asked co-workers to make a donation or pledge for each mile he rode to help out the Redding family during their challenging time.
Spurred on by the thought of helping the Reddings and by the outpouring from the Service family, Sacramento FWO employee Steve Barre rode in the grueling Sierra Century (a 100-mile-ride with 6,500 feet of elevation gain) and asked co-workers to make a donation or pledge for each mile he rode to help out the Redding family during their challenging time. - Photo Credit: n/a

By Sarah Swenty, Sacramento FWO

 

UPDATE:

Jeremy Redding died in December 2010 and the Idaho State track and field program started a scholarship fund for his two daughters. Donations can be mailed to: Jeremy Redding Scholarship Foundation, ATTN: Brian Janssen, 921 S. 8th, Stop 8173, Pocatello, ID 83209

Compassion is not an endangered species among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff in Sacramento, as shown by Service employees recent response to a former Service biologist’s battle with the cancer.

Some 77 Service employees, mostly in the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office (SFWO) and Region 8 headquarters contributed $3,400 to help a former colleague. Four Service members in Portland, Denver and Arlington were also among the donors.

A triathlete, Jeremy Redding was a promising young biologist in the SFWO for a year. Early in 2009, he left the FWS for a new job in NOAA Fisheries.

But late in 2009, Redding was stunned by a diagnosis of stomach cancer.  Treatment required Redding to take a year off of work.  In addition to Jeremy’s battle with cancer, his wife and two young daughters were facing financial challenges after a lengthy period without his salary.

Department of the Interior employees generously donated leave and provided lots of meals for the Redding family as Jeremy went through chemotherapy, then the removal of his stomach, spleen and lymph nodes, and more chemotherapy. During the chemo he had to inject a powerful drug that came with a $150 co-pay.  Bills mounted for the young family as Jeremy fought to overcome the virulent cancer.

Sacramento FWO IT specialist Steve Barre, an avid cyclist and himself a cancer survivor, understood the challenges facing Jeremy and his family.  In May, Barre announced that he would dedicate his ride in the grueling Sierra Century (a 100-mile-ride with 6,500 feet of elevation gain) to helping Jeremy. Barre asked co-workers to make a donation or pledge for each mile he rode to help out the Redding family during their challenging time, and the response was tremendous.

Having never ridden a century before, Barre asked for per-mile pledges in case he wasn’t able to reach the 100-mile goal. “Most century riders are younger,” Barre explained. “I’ll be 60 this year, I was a late bloomer on a bike.”

Spurred on by the thought of helping the Reddings and by the outpouring from the Service family, Barre completed the grueling ride race in good shape. And the Service employees made good on their pledges with $3,400 contributed. Barre and Redding’s former Service supervisor, Doug Weinrich, presented the donation to Redding and his grateful family in June. 

Jeremy is regaining his strength has almost completed a second round of chemo. He has returned to work part time and begun to do short bike rides, boosting his morale as he prepares for more treatments.

“No matter how strong any one person is, there are times in everyone’s life when we all need a little help. This was a wonderful instance when our staff generously stepped up for someone who was at that time in their life", observed Barre.

For one former Region 8 employee the year-long journey bridging the chasm of cancer has proven that the Service family is strong and supportive in times of need.

 

 

UPDATE:

 

Contact Info: Sarah Swenty, 916-414-6571, sarah_swenty@fws.gov