Downsville Volunteer Fire Department chief diagnosed with cancer, community shows support

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DOWNSVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - Years of service couldn’t prepare a Central Texas fire chief for his current fight. Kelvin Toliver with the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department is in the middle of treatment for stage four stomach cancer.

But his current battle isn’t stopping the man with 26-years of service from responding to calls on his good days despite his diagnosis.

“Some days I have great days, some days I feel good, some days I feel okay,” Toliver said. “On the days I feel good and great, if I get a call, I run it with them.”

Even as chief, Toliver doesn’t get paid for his work. During his time of service he also balanced working full-time as a custodian at Midway, La Vega and Robinson ISD at different points.

“Oh I wouldn’t have had a clue he was here in Downsville working through the night,” Cindy Barrier, a former co-worker of Toliver at Robinson ISD, said.

To thank him now Toliver’s fellow firefighters and school staff came together for a chili fundraiser at the station last Saturday. Altogether, they raised over $6,500 for him and his family.

“We ran into the fact that more months are coming,” Jay Justice, training chief at Downsville Volunteer Fire Department, said. “It’s Christmas-time and he’s got to have more income because he’s not able to work now. So, we came up with the idea for the chili fundraiser.”

But that’s not the end of it. They’re now asking for GoFundMe donations to help Toliver as he continues his battle.

“I graduated from Robinson High School and our motto is ‘Rockets Never Quit,’” Toliver said. “And I stay in the country. You put them two together, you can’t give up.”