In Three Days, Fundraiser to Help Arcata Firefighter With Cancer Raises Over $16,000

Anthony ‘Benny’ BenelishaAt 27 years old, Anthony Benelisha has already worked for the Arcata Fire Department for six years. “In that short time, Anthony has been awarded Rookie of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, and the Fire Chief’s Achievement Award,” says a GoFundMe page started for him after he was diagnosed with cancer. The page states,

Over the past several years, Anthony has volunteered for deployment to the Soberanes Fire, the Thomas Fire, the Camp Fire.Anthony ‘Benny’ Benelisha He’s done this because of his firmly rooted belief of service above self. In addition to volunteering for assignments to large fires, Anthony has always made time to better himself as firefighter. He travels to fire conferences every year, and volunteers to teach local classes to newer firefighters beginning their careers.

Three years ago Anthony met the love of his life, Ashleigh, and two years ago they got married.Anthony ‘Benny’ Benelisha It addition to becoming a firefighter and marrying the woman of his dreams, Anthony always wanted to be a father. That dream came true when his daughter Eleanor was born on March 14, 2019. This year, Anthony began his schooling to become a paramedic, but had to drop out due to his diagnosis and the side effects of the treatments involved. Along with dropping out of school, Anthony also had to stop working. Anthony is an incredibly loyal and kind man. He always looks out for the well being of everyone around him. He is well-loved and highly respected by his peers and coworkers for always doing the right thing. He doesn’t just do the right thing when no one is looking, he does the right thing when everyone is looking, even if it’s the unpopular thing to do.

In three days, the page has raised over $16,000. Anthony’s wife Ashleigh told us, “I am completely speechless with the amount of love, support and generosity our community has given us. Just so so thankful.”

If you would like to help, you can donate at this link.  Anthony ‘Benny’ Benelisha



  • 🕯🌳Good morning Kym People helping people is always a good read. 👍🏽🎅☃️🇺🇸

  • sinei botana-walker

    Thank you for spreading the word! Such an amazing man. Such a wonderful family!

    • “Service above self”. Love it. We are all here only for a short time, take chances,volunteer and teach your kids to survive a world that is only changing worse for humans. Remember….. your not that important! Godspeed on your recovery FF Benelishia and May there be angels looking over your family.

  • Vote for candidates who support MEDICARE4ALL and make begging unnecessary.

    • This!! It’s sad that the richest country in the world history forces it’s public servants to beg for money to cover health care costs. I wish this man all the very best

      • another guest in the wall

        why is Anthony sick? 27 year old with cancer isn’t the new normal? I hope he and his family get the support and help they need to focus on getting through this. Cancer shouldn’t be a young person’s battle. Stay strong Anthony!

        • In the fire Dept world cancer is that second leading cause of death among firefighters due to exposure to carcinogens. Heart attacks is the first due to high stress mentally and physically.

    • FYI it’s was not medical costs that were the problem for me. Mostly it was covering the normal costs that my income no longer was enough that was so hard. Travel, hotel stays, hiring extra help, etc actually cost more than the treatment. And Medicare for All will no more eliminate that than it does now.

    • How about Medicare for American citizens who need it and choice of healthcare for those who want freedom of choice?

  • Hang in there, Anthony! You’ll beat it!

  • Beautiful article.

  • Kym, thank you for spreading the word and helping Anthony and his family through this difficult time. Arcata Fire District is honored to have Anthony as one of our own.

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