Fallen Hero Lt. Kevin P. Nerney, New York Fire Department” title=

Lt. Kevin P. Nerney

May 7, 1958 - December 18, 2015
U.S. Army

On September 11, 2001 Lt. Kevin Nerney was settling into a new life in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, having just retired two weeks earlier from the New York City Fire Department. He watched as the twin towers crumbled, and took the first available plane back to New York to find his former coworkers and help with search and cleanup. He discovered that all of the firefighters on duty that day from Engine 207/Lad 110 Tillary Street, Brooklyn had died, one of whom was his best friend. “It was a horror show”, he said later, recalling the days he spent at Ground Zero.

In June of 2014 Kevin learned he had a form of brain cancer, stage-four glioblastoma (GBM) which is among the cancers tied to the toxic Ground Zero cleanup area. Kevin underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but this very aggressive form of cancer (brain tumor) is always terminal. Kevin was given six months to live, however his wife Kathy states, that she was ‘lucky to have him for another eighteen months.’

Ten months prior to Kevin’s death he and Kathy were in New Orleans and decided to visit the Fire Department there. It just happened that my son Michael and wife Nicole were visiting New Orleans as well. Michael is also a firefighter, and if you know anything about firefighters they love to visit other firehouses. The two couples met and became instant friends. Mike and Nic learned that Kevin had only so long to live, and decided right then, that when the time came, they wanted to sponsor a Fallen Hero Portrait of Kevin. They were put on my (long) waiting list, and Kathy finally received the painting of Kevin a couple of weeks ago. She is very appreciative……and so happy to have a portrait of her husband of 30 years.

Reportedly thousands of people have been diagnosed with 9/11-related brain tumors, lung cancer, and other illnesses. And the number keeps growing as the problems can take years to appear. Kathy and her family went through a great deal of turmoil and stress, but they are ever so proud of their husband-father-grandfather. By all accounts he was an extremely helpful and loving person. It was indeed my pleasure to paint Lt. Kevin Nerney’s portrait……my first Firefighter Hero.

Portrait sponsored by:
Michael & Nicole Wiskow, Litchfield Park, AZ