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Battalion Chief Mark Godbold loses battle with cancer

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Battalion Chief Mark Godbold

Battalion Chief Mark Godbold, a beloved leader in the Olathe Fire Department, lost his battle with cancer, the department announced Monday.

Chief Godbold, who had worked for the department 27 years, had gone through multiple rounds in the battle, according to a story from The Olathe Reporter in December. The second round was liver cancer. At that time, a fundraiser to help him and his family surpassed its goal 12 times over.

Godbold began his battle with cancer in 2020. His abdominal pain was misdiagnosed as blockage in his digestive system but turned out to be a tumor determined to be Stage 3 colon cancer, according to Kris Camp, Olathe Professional Firefighter Outreach president. After chemotherapy, he had a clear CT scan in February.

Three months later, Godbold went to a checkup at which he got bad news. Camp said the doctors found two tumors on his liver, which immediately changed his diagnosis to Stage 4.

“His doctor said he did not have a very positive outlook on how this was going to go,” Camp said.

Godbold underwent additional treatment, including surgery and more chemotherapy.

“The guy is so tough and he misses coming to work, he misses seeing his firemen, he misses the calls and interacting with the community. When he's not in chemotherapy, he still tries to come to work,” Camp, who is also a captain for the Olathe Fire Department, said at the time. “A guy with stage four cancer is worried about how we're doing.”

Word of his death Monday prompted an outpouring of comments on social media.

“Working at the front desk, you got a feel for each firefighter when they’d come into admin,” wrote Teressa Thurwanger. “Godbold was always one of the ones it was a joy to see walking in because he carried a lightness of spirit that was contagious. Holding his family and OFD brothers and sisters in my heart tonight.”

“He was one of the good ones,” wrote Gary Nickerson. “The world was a better place with him in it. RIP my friend.”

McKenzie Chandler wrote: “He called me spud and was always the most excited to see me when we’d come see my dad at the fire station when they were on shift together. Lifting the Godbolds up in love and prayer.”

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