IRETON—A longtime Ireton fireman is battling more than just fires these days.

Bruce Smit, 59, of Ireton, who has volunteered with the Ireton Fire Department for more than 41 years, is battling cancer for the second time. 

In 2015 Smit had bladder cancer, won that battle and remained cancer free until cancer struck again in April 2019.

“It moved from my bladder to my lungs,” Smit said. “They say it is stage four because it is in both lungs.”

Smit is receiving chemotherapy treatment at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, SD. He has three chemo treatments left before having another scan to n to see if the treatments are working. Smit is grateful the treatments have not made him sick, only tired.

The second cancer diagnosis surprised Smit.

“I had no symptoms of the cancer; we were really shocked,” he said. “It affects my family, probably more than it even affects me. We are all devastated, but we just put the armor on and go to battle again.”

Smit has been married more than30 years to his wife, Tina, and they have two children, Brandon and Brandi.

Besides being a volunteer on the Ireton Fire Department, is in his 29th year as Ireton’s mail carrier. He hopes to reach his 30th anniversary in February 2020.

A benefit is planned for Smit at 5-9 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the Ireton Community Center, 402 Fourth St. Donations are still being accepted for silent auction and bake sale items. All donations need to be dropped off at the community center in Ireton by 2 p.m. June 22. T-shirts will be on-sale and there will be a freewill donation supper.

“This all means a lot,” Smit said. “We are just grateful, it really helps and it means a lot that the guys [fireman] think enough of me to put this on.”