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'He loved helping people': Colorado firefighter donates organs as final act of service

Cody Mooney, a South Metro firefighter, was honored for donating his organs following a battle with cancer.

LITTLETON, Colo. — South Metro firefighter Cody Mooney spent his life trying to help others, so it’s fitting that his final act will also save a life.

The 31-year-old lost his battle with an aggressive brain tumor over the weekend, according to a tweet from South Metro Fire Rescue. A procession of fellow firefighters and medical personnel escorted Mooney down the hallway at Littleton Adventist Hospital for his final act: donating his organs.

Mooney is the father of four children. According to South Metro Fire, his wife is expected to give birth to their fifth child in just a few weeks.

Mooney's father, Kevin Mooney, said his son always dreamed of moving to Colorado to build a family and a life.

"Cody loved life. Cody loved people. Cody loved the outdoors, and Cody loved Colorado," he said.

"One of the reasons he came was because he wanted all of his children to have Colorado on their birth certificate. He wanted them to be Colorado natives."

Kevin Mooney said his son loved to fish and hunt, as well as driving his family around Colorado to enjoy the outdoors. He said his son also dreamed of becoming a firefighter. 

"More than anything else he loved helping people," Kevin Mooney said. "That was his only goal: to be here (in Colorado), and to be fighting fires."

Mooney served in several departments, most recently with South Metro Fire.

Justin Pearlman was a friend of Cody's, and went through fire academy with Cody seven years ago. They also worked together at South Metro.

"Cody loved giving back to the community and helping the community," he said.

Credit: Mooney family
Cody Mooney and his family.

"He made me a better person because of his work ethic and how much he cared for the community."

About a year and a half ago, family members said Cody was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For about a year, the tumor didn't grow. But early this year, the family learned it had doubled in size, and Cody would need surgery.

While the initial surgery was successful, Kevin Mooney said his son suffered complications afterward and his health quickly declined. He passed away last week.

Mooney's service to his community will continue through his donations.

"It was something we talked about even before he went into the fire service, was that he wanted to be a donor," Mooney's father said.

On the day of his donation, Cody's family followed him down the hallway on the way to the operation room. They witnessed the touching tribute to Cody at the hospital.

"The only thing I could have asked for differently was to keep my son," Kevin Mooney said. "But when that wasn't an option, what this town did for him, was beautiful. It was just beautiful."

South Metro Fire tweeted that it is working to support Mooney’s family. 

Not only is his wife expecting the couple's fifth child, but family members say two of Mooney's older children have been diagnosed with a genetic eye disorder that requires ongoing treatment. 

The family is also going to need a new home soon, when their rental property lease ends this summer. They were living in Teller County, and planned to move to the Denver area during Cody's recovery from surgery.

On Monday, South Metro Fire Rescue shared a link to a GoFundme page for the family. Firefighters are also collecting donations through the South Metro Professional Firefighters Association.

A memorial service for Mooney will be held Friday, March 8 at 1 p.m. at Mission Hills Church in Littleton. The public is welcome to attend. 

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