Altoona firefighter loses battle to brain cancer

Local News

Lenny and Diana DeBernardis sit on the porch at their Altoona home. They smile as they tell stories about their son and brother, but on the inside they’re grieving.

“He fought for 4 years,” Lenny, who is talking about his son Dave DeBernardis, said. “I kept telling him to keep fighting and he said he was, but he got to the point where he couldn’t fight anymore.”

Dave DeBernardis just lost a long battle to stage 4 brain cancer. However, he didn’t fight alone. He had his immediate family by his side, but as a 20-year member of the Altoona Fire Department, he also had his fellow co-workers.

“The first thing I think of when I think of my brother is how much he loved being a firefighter,” Diana explained. “He fought brain cancer for 4 years and that made him a true fighter.”

Dave devoted his life to protecting and helping people.

Before becoming a firefighter, he served our country in the Marine Corps for 6 years.

“I could never do that and that’s why I’m very proud of him, he could do things I couldn’t,” Lenny said.

Until his last breath, Dave was surrounded by people he loved, showing no one fights alone.

Dave’s viewing is this Thursday at the Good Funeral Home. He’ll be laid to rest on Friday.

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