North Routt reaches out to 1 of its own
Community rushes to aid Beach family
September 1, 2011
How to help
For those interested in making a donation, an account has been set up in Jeremiah Beach’s name at Yampa Valley Bank. Residents who would like to provide a meal for Beach’s family can sign up at http://www.mealtrain.com/?id=mbpl3wc36bft. Those who want to buy a North Routt Fire Protection District T-shirt, with the proceeds supporting Beach’s family, can call Chief Bob Reilley at 970-879-6064.
Jeremiah Beach has given so much to North Routt that when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, community members said it was time to return the favor.
Beach, who was diagnosed with cancer of the blood and bone marrow about three weeks ago, is one of 22 volunteer firefighters for the North Routt Fire Protection District, a member of the school board for the North Routt Community Charter School, a sound technician for bands that perform at Hahn's Peak Cafe and has helped coach the U.S. Adaptive Cross-Country Ski Team.
And he does all of that when he's not working as a carpenter.
When the cancer diagnosis was made, the community immediately rushed to the aid of Beach and his family.
Neighbors have cooked meals for the Beach family, bought school supplies for his youngest son, cut and stacked firewood for the winter, raised money and set up an account in his name at Yampa Valley Bank.
"A lot of folks have spearheaded these efforts," resident Eric Knaus said. "It's a matter of the community wanting to help their neighbor, especially someone with that sort of presence."
Beach, reached Wednesday by phone from Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center on the Front Range, said he was overwhelmed by the support shown to his family — wife, Julie; twin 14-year-old sons, Zach and Tyler; and 8-year-old son, Ethan.
"I can tell you the amount of support that's come from the community up there is truly humbling, though," he said. "The amount of people who have come out of the woodwork to help and make sure we have everything we need, help with the kids, has been overwhelming. It's just been unbelievable."
Beach said he experienced shortness of breath and chest pain after fire training a few weeks ago. Having a family history of heart issues, he didn't want to take any chances. Beach said the doctor told him his heart was fine but diagnosed him with leukemia.
North Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bob Reilley said his firefighters cut and stacked wood Sunday for Beach's family. And he said they would sell North Routt Fire Protection District T-shirts to raise money for the family. Anyone interested in buying a $20 or $25 T-shirt can call Reilley at 970-879-6064.
Reilley called Beach an "all around go-to guy" because he's been so active in North Routt after having moved there just five years ago from Bartlett, N.H.
"Jeremiah is one of our firefighters," Reilley said. "This is just an example of the kind of family our department is. If one of us isn't doing well, we'll be there to help, chip in and do what we can."
Knaus said the same about North Routt. He said community members could sign up to provide a meal at http://www.mealtrain.com/?id=mbpl3wc36bft or make a donation to the account in Beach's name at Yampa Valley Bank.
Beach said he would find out in about 10 days how his treatment will continue. By that time, he will have undergone a month of aggressive chemotherapy. Beach said he could face another year of chemo or even a bone marrow transplant, but he is staying positive.
"It's a minimum of a year of outpatient treatment when I get out of here and possibly more," he said. "I'm fortunate that I'm otherwise in good shape and healthy. The prognosis looks good. It's just going to be a tough, expensive road for a while."
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com