Senator Jack M. Martins recently presented Bellerose firefighter Rob Syverson with the New York State Gift of Life medal for a selfless act of generosity that captured the spirit of giving during the holiday season.
Having been on the bone marrow registry for the past 16 years, Syverson was contacted a few months as a match for a 43-year-old woman who was suffering from leukemia. Although Syverson didn’t know the woman, he decided to undergo the painful procedure of having bone marrow extracted from his pelvis to be donated to the patient. On November 30, two quarters of bone marrow were extracted while Syverson was under general anesthesia.
On December 27, Senator Martins honored Syverson at the Bellerose Fire Department for his sacrifice in wanting to help someone in need. “It was appropriate that we learned of Rob’s story during the holiday season. It put the holidays into perspective,” Senator Martins said. “Rob is not only a husband, father and valued volunteer in his community, but he is also someone who was willing to put his own well-being aside to help someone. It’s not surprising that Rob is a firefighter. They have the amazing ability to put the health of others ahead of their own. I was honored to be invited by the Bellerose Fire Department to meet this extraordinary man.”
Syverson grew up in Bellerose Village and joined the Bellerose Fire Department at the age of 18. He re-joined the department when he moved back to the village with his family. He is active in the Floral Park Methodist Church and has been its treasurer for many years. He is also active in the theater group at the church.
His many friends in the fire department say jokingly that he is a mediocre actor and a terrible golfer. But, he is an amazing person.