Tragic find in dad’s brain after eight years ‘fighting Australia’s worst fires’

Although he was not feeling his best, Troy Kinslow couldn’t help but beam as he stood in front of a WWII fighter plane, about to fulfill his “life-long, bucket list goal.” Ever since he watched movies and M*A*S*H as a kid, he’d wanted to fly in a Spitfire.

With his wife Kaylene and daughter Georgia, 18, by his side at an airfield in Briggin Hill, UK, the Aussie dad and long-time volunteer firefighter got to do just that. “It’s a beautiful memory that they all have now,” Troy’s sister-in-law Laura told Yahoo News on Friday.

One week ago, the “loving and generous” 50-year-old died following a decade-long battle with brain cancer that was revealed to be linked to his “exposure to smoke and chemicals during his years of fighting some of Australia’s worst fires” , Laura said.

Troy, who is originally from Adelaide, began volunteering with the Country Fire Services in South Australia in 2006. Tragically, just eight years later he was told that his love of his community — including battling blazes consuming friends’ homes — had likely led to his tumour.

“His initial diagnosis was three to five years,” Laura said. Incredibly, with the help of his doctors, he was able to keep the cancer at bay for much longer, and became a stay-at-home dad for his daughter, now 18.

Eight years after he began fighting fires in South Australia, Troy was diagnosed with a brain tumor linked to smoke and carcinogens. Source: Supplied

After the family moved to Melbourne in 2014, Troy joined the Country Fire Authority in Victoria, but when he wasn’t medically able to battle blazes anymore, the 50-year-old started helping in other ways.

“He would do a lot of their fundraising drives, dressed up as Santa for the (CFA’s) Christmas drives and did all that sort of stuff. So he stayed active with them even though he couldn’t fight fires,” Laura said.

He also volunteered at schools, helping out in the canteen and classrooms, worked with refugees to help them get their lives started in Australia, and gave free lessons to learn drivers from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Troy was thrilled he was able to see his daughter Georgia turn 18 before his passing. Source: Supplied

With his tumor “growing slowly over time,” Troy had to slow down when he was also diagnosed with leukemia a year ago.

“Despite being so sick in the last year of life, he really got to tick off the bucket list — including reaching his 50th birthday, seeing his daughter’s 18th birthday, seeing his daughter graduate Year 12 and of course, the Spitefire flight,” Laura he said.

On May 16, Laura and her partner, who are both paramedics, were able to transport Troy to palliative care themselves in an ambulance. He took his final breath just days later, leaving Kaylene, who he had been with since he was 17, and his daughter Georgia devastated.

His relatives and loved ones are now determined to raise money to give the “big kid” and good friend the “best send off possible” on May 30.

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