Bike run benefits Wareham firefighter battling brain tumor

By Matthew Bernat | Sep 24, 2017
Photo by: Derek House A motorcycle ride for Wareham firefighter David Wahlstrom, second from right, drew more than 100 riders on Sept. 24.

A Wareham firefighter is fighting for his life after emergency brain surgery, and on Sunday, bikers, friends and family came together to show support and raise funds for his treatment.

The bike run for David Wahlstrom left Shenanigans Bar & Grill at 11 a.m. headed for Bourne with an escort that included trucks and firefighters from Wareham, Onset and Bourne.

A firefighter for 20 plus years, Wahlstrom was taken to Tobey Hospital a couple weeks ago after his family noticed changes in his behavior. There, doctors discovered a brain tumor had likely been growing for the past 15 years. Wahlstrom was then sent to Rhode Island Hospital for further evaluation and underwent surgery on Sept. 16. He was sent home on Sept. 19, but is now facing chemotherapy treatment.

On Sunday, more than 100 bikers participated in run for Wahlstrom who friends said has been involved with numerous benefits for others in the past.

“Not only is he a first responder in times of crisis and will run into a building to save someone, he’s a first responder when he sees someone in need,” said Todd Telesmanick, a member of the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club, Station 32, Cape Cod. “His smile opens up doors, and when someone is undergoing something difficult in their life, he's there.”

In addition to Fire & Iron members, veterans and supporters from 22Kill – a nonprofit Wahlstrom is heavily involved with – were present, too. 22Kill works to raise awareness for the high suicide rate among veterans.

Telesmanick said Wahlstrom is often the first one to step forward when someone else is in need. Sunday was all about showing him their love and support, he said.

“He is our brother,” said Telesmanick. “He considers everyone in here today as his family, and they all consider him family as well.”

Telesmanick said future fundraisers will be planned to help Wahlstrom’s family pay medical bills.

Motorcyclists hit the road during a bike run for David Wahlstrom. (Photo by: Derek House)
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