ROXBURY, NJ - The brother of Roxbury firefighter and business owner Jeff Poissant is hoping to raise $100,000 to help defray the medical bills that are piling up as his sibling fights cancer.
He aimed high because, even with insurance, his brother’s out-of-pocket medical expenses – combined with the fact that the man can no longer work – could be devastating to the family. Jeff, 54, who owns the Succasunna Service Center in Kenvil, has a wife and three children aged 17 to 23.
The brothers jointly own another Roxbury-based business called East Coast Towing.
According to Alan, Jeff was diagnosed with prostate cancer a while ago, but the doctors said the disease was “contained” and didn’t warrant immediate attention.
“They told him to keep an eye on it,” said Alan. “He didn’t want to get it removed and the doctor said, ‘You don’t have to worry about it. We’ll just keep monitoring you.’”
When Jeff began suffering from bad back pain earlier this year, it was diagnosed as arthritis, said his brother.
“It turns out … on an MRI cancer and arthritis look similar,” said Alan, 34, who works for the Roxbury School District as a mechanic. “So now, this past year he’s been having these shots because they thought it was arthritis.”
As documented on the GoFundMe page, the real cause of Jeff’s pain was metastasized prostate cancer. “Currently the cancer is in his skull, spine, left scapula, several ribs, left hip, right pubic bone, tail bone, neck muscle, the muscle around his scapula, and some regions around his brain and other locations,” wrote Alan on the page.
Alan’s call for help has produced significant support from people in Roxbury who know him and his family, including those in the fire department and those involved with Roxbury High School sports. Fire Co. #1 is selling wrist bans to help raise money.
“He has been a member of Roxbury Fire Co. #1 since 1982,” said his brother. “He is a past fire chief … and a responder to ground zero during 9/11. Jeff is a family man. Always family first with him. He is always the first one to offer his assistance and support. He always worked long hours and two jobs to support his family. He has always been there for me and our family.”
On the fundraising site, Alan said his brother’s will be lengthy and difficult. However, he said, “with a positive attitude and lots of support and love from his family and friends, we are going to put up one hell of a fight.”