Brave firefighter returns to front line just a day after devastating diagnosis

Just one day after receiving a cancer diagnosis a volunteer firefighter was back on the front line battling bushfires and saving homes.

Father of two Ryan Channells, a volunteer for the Wauchope Rural Fire Brigade, has been hailed a hero after he didn’t hesitate to head to the scene of the raging fires on the NSW mid-north coast following his stage-four melanoma diagnosis.

Even after spending long days fighting the catastrophic fire conditions in November, Mr Channells, 42, also went straight back to his day job where he repairs roads for the local council.

Ryan Channells with his two children, 2-year-old Toby and 3-month-old Skye. Source: GoFundMe

The humble hero is currently in a Sydney hospital receiving cancer treatment, but spoke to The Daily Telegraph from his hospital bed and said saving lives helped keep his spirits high.

“It just helped keep my mind off things and I prefer to help other people,” he said.

Ryan’s sister Angela has started a GoFundMe page to help support her brother, partner Carlie and their two young children, 2-year-old Toby and 3-month-old Skye.

Mr Channells helped fight fires on 'catastrophic Tuesday' in NSW. Source: AAP

“He needs to focus his energy on himself and his recovery right now and if we can help lessen his and Carlie's financial worries, this can assist to lessen their load,” Angela wrote on the fundraising page, which at the time of publication had raised more than $17,500 of the $50,000 goal.

Angela described her brother as an Aussie battler.

"Ryan is not just a wonderful dad, he is a great partner, son, brother, brother-in-law, nephew, cousin, friend, colleague and volunteer with the Rural Fire Brigade," she said.

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