ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Guilderland and North Bethlehem fire departments hosted a fundraiser at the Altamont Fair Grounds on Saturday in support of Woodward Strong.
Several months ago, Josh Woodward, a fireman for the Albany Airport, was struck with a flesh eating bacteria and his body went into septic shock. He lost all ten toes and his right hand.
He’s using his experience to pay it forward through Woodward Strong, a nonprofit he and his wife, Chelsea, started to help first responders in crisis.
“I realized not everyone in a situation like mine has the kind of support system that we have,” Woodward told News10.
Woodward said they haven’t begun assisting a family yet, but they’re hoping with the money raised today, they’ll be able to get out there and start putting their mission into action.
Woodward is grateful not only for the support of the fire services who hosted the fundraiser, but also anyone who was moved by hearing his story.
“From day one we’ve had a support system from the whole community and from Facebook,” Woodward said, “and that’s all due to my wife creating that Facebook page and just getting the word out. It’s been incredible.”
Woodward said the Facebook page has been quieter than usual, which is a good thing. There aren’t many updates to share regarding his health because he’s doing well.
He’s waiting for his foot to heal up a little bit more, and then he wants to go back to work.
Woodward recently got fitted for a prosthetic. He says while he can walk without one, the prosthetic will help him balance and make walking safer.
The fundraiser included raffle items and a performance by Madison VanDenburg.