WAYNE, N.J. -- While a Wayne fireman fights the biggest battle of his life, friends are working to ease the family's financial burden.
Vinnie Caropreso was diagnosed with Stage 4 oral cancer and was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday after weeks of 96-hour chemo sessions.
The father of two boys is the main breadwinner and has been out of work since becoming ill.
Insurance doesn't cover all of his medical costs and unemployment isn't nearly enough for a family of four to survive.
His wife Maureen works part time at Pequannock Valley Middle School but will also have to take some time off to care for him during his recovery.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family cover expenses.
The 15-plus hour surgery will entail removing Caropreso's lower jaw bone on the right side and any muscle, nerves and soft tissue that is shown to be cancerous.
Surgeons also will remove his fibula --the outer bone between the knee and the ankle -- to reconstruct his jaw.
Caropreso has been a volunteer fireman for 30 years with P.O.L. Fire Co. #2 in Wayne and the family belongs to Saint Mary's Church in Pompton Lakes.
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