SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – From chemo to cadet, a future firefighter is determined to beat cancer to help his community.

Even through the pain of fighting cancer and the bad days of chemotherapy and radiation, 36-year-old Louis Stanfill kept his eye on his goal: to become a public servant.

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They work hard and fast. A team of cadets ready to become Sacramento city firefighters, but behind each hero, there’s a human – a dad like Stanfill, better known as Louie. As a retired American Rugby Union player, his new journey as a fire cadet was interrupted by chemo.

“I was diagnosed on November 13, 2020 – it was a Friday, so Friday the 13th, that I had Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The Sacramento Fire Department recruit wasn’t about to let cancer stand in the way of community.

“I just took it day by day, and the beginning…it was rough,” he said. “While I was going through treatment was rough, but it was also good because it gave me something to take my mind off of whatever pain I was feeling.”

Behind him is his motivation: his wife Kramer and the new family he found in the Sacramento Fire Department.

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“Even from the beginning of the academy he was always ‘I want to make this happen, what do I need to do to make this happen?’ ” said Mike Ferguson, drillmaster with the Sacramento Fire Academy.

“I always say if I was four floors up in a burning building and my husband came through the door, I knew I’d be OK,” said Kramer Greenburg Stanfill, Louie’s wife.

Beating cancer to be a cadet and now a future firefighter – Stanfill’s one focus is to help his community.

“He’s the best guy you’ll ever meet and he’s going to be one hell of a firefighter and so we’re so excited,” his wife said.

Both of his parents were in public service – his dad as a Sacramento County deputy and his mom with the California Highway Patrol.

He says the key to getting through something as hard as cancer is to keep a positive attitude.

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“Knowing that I am going to beat this,” he said. “This is simply just another bump in the road.”