Benefit being held for local nurse

Honoring the best traditions of service, the members Dayton Fire Fighters Local 136 are reaching out to one of their fellow human beings in her time of need.

Mary Gaytko, 33, who lives in Dayton and is an Emergency Room nurse at Miami Valley Hospital, recently got news that no woman ever wants to hear. She has breast cancer and, to make matters worse, it has spread to her spine, liver and hip.

That is where Dayton fireman Chris Harness came into the picture. He had heard of her situation through word of mouth, as well as Facebook, and decided he was going to help by organizing a benefit to help Gaytko and her family defray some of the medical expenses and other costs associated with her treatment.

“Mary’s father (Steve Gaytko) used to be a fireman and her mother (Rebecca Gaytko) works for the Dayton Police Department,” Harness said. “Mary has become a mutual friend of the Dayton Firefighters Local 136 members since she came on the job six years ago.”

Harness, with the help of his fellow firefighters and members of the community, are planning a pig roast on July 20 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Fire Fighters Recreation Center, 3616 Needmore Road, Dayton. Pre-sale tickets will cost $5 and admission is $10 at the door. Attendees will get an entrée and sides with soda, water and beer at an extra charge. The event will also feature a DJ, 50/50 auction, Care Flight demonstration from 4 to 6 p.m., Heidelberg Distributing Pink Ribbon Keg Trailer, an inflatable bouncy house, massage therapist with massage chair from 3 to 5 p.m., and Surviveorknot Brand customized para-cord bracelets. More attractions and donations are being added.

Harness said that he is reaching out to the community to make this event a success and any individuals or businesses that wish to help sponsor the event can contact him at 937-694-6281 or e-mail

All profits from the event will go toward Gaytko’s recovery efforts.

Colleagues say that since her diagnosis Gaytko has remained positive. An avid runner, she has already completed one 5K since her diagnosis (Cancer Crush 5K) and plans to continue as long as her body will allow.

“My family is touched and grateful; my dad was a firefighter in West Virginia before we moved to Ohio so it humbles him to see the Dayton Fire Department and their love for me. We are so very thankful for the support and generosity given to us,” said Gaytko.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.