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Beloved firefighter diagnosed with cancer passes away

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne firefighter who was diagnosed with cancer has died. Fort Wayne Fire Department spokesperson, Stacy Fleming said Nate Mills passed away Sunday morning from a long and courageous battle with cancer.

The following is a statement from Fire Chief Eric Lahey:

“The Fort Wayne Fire Department mourns the loss of firefighter Nate Mills. Nate fought this battle as he served this department:  with grace, dignity, courage and unwavering determination to make a bad situation better.  While he is no longer with us, he will undoubtedly be remembered by all who knew him. The family is asking for privacy at this time, but please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Back in November of 2014, Nate spoke to 24-Hour News 8’s sister station WANE-TV.

“If it really is the end and I don’t beat this,” he said. “I’ve had a wonderful life. I have a beautiful wife who I love with all my heart. I’ve had the best job in the world,” Nate said.

Nate became a volunteer firefighter in Markle in 1993. He joined the Fort Wayne department in 2006.

In 2000, Nate had melanoma removed from his back. Then in 2012, he started having knee pain and a tumor was found in his tibia. Nate received treatment from Cancer Treatment Center and a year later doctors said there was nothing else they could do.

Nate spent his final days inspiring the community and staying positive.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced at a later date.