Retired FDNY Firefighter, 63, Dies of 9/11-Related Cancer after 9-Year Battle

NY Daily News - February 04, 2018


Ronald Svec, a former city firefighter who was diagnosed with a 9/11-related cancer six months after he retired, has died, officials and relatives said Saturday.

The 63-year-old FDNY vet died Friday at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center after a more than 9-year battle with lung and spine cancer, said his wife of 34 years, Sharon Svec.

“He was wonderful,” she added. “The best guy in the world.”

Born in Manhattan, Svec joined the FDNY in 1989.

A member of Ladder Company 82, he spent weeks toiling at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks.

Svec, an outdoorsman who loved to fish and garden, retired from the department in April 2009. He was diagnosed with spine cancer that November.

“A nice six months, that’s all he got,” his wife said.

He underwent treatment after treatment, but it ultimately spread to his lungs, his wife said.

“He was a fighter, but he suffered too much,” Sharon Svec said. “More than anybody should in a lifetime.”

Still, Svec’s wife said he had no regrets about his decision to devote his life to saving lives as a city firefighter.

“He absolutely loved it,” Sharon Svec said. “He’d do it all over again if he could.”

Svec’s death prompted a flood of online tributes from fellow smoke eaters.

“Tales of your feats of strength will always be the stuff of legend,” one wrote on Facebook.

Adding, “Woo Hoo Ronny.”