EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Search and rescue joining in on a very different mission to help rescue one of their own.
“It was a godsend when my team members came in,” said Tony Mazarakis.
He has been a member of the El Dorado County Search and Rescue team for five years. Last month he was diagnosed with cancer.
“Have pancreatic, liver lesions, and cancer,” he said.
The disease has left Mazarakis unable to accomplish his usual household tasks, especially outside on his 6-acre property with fire danger.
“Before I knew I was this ill, I tried to do some clearing myself and ended up falling down a couple of times in my yard,” he said.
Saturday, that overgrown mess got cleaned up.
“About 600 feet of brush and vegetation that we removed from this whole area,” said Linda Colombo who mentored Mazarakis from the beginning.
She helped rally their teammates to get his yard cleaned up.
“I had 50 to 60 people out here, and I had no idea that was gonna happen,” Mazarakis said.
Colombo wasn’t surprised.
“He’s unbelievable, he has surpassed anything that we’ve ever thought somebody could accomplish in five years,” she said.
It was a passion and responsibility Mazarakis took on immediately.
“I’m a broker, and I do the loans, but that really doesn’t mean anything to me. It means more to me to help people,” he said.
Though he’s sidelined by disease, he’s still managing as team captain.
“I really have high spirits, I really do, and I’m keeping positive,” he said.
It’s the support from his team that keeps him going.
“They are all really good people and when you see people like this, there’s hope in the world,” Mazarakis said.
He hasn’t lost hope because he’s found a new family.
“I get emotional, I love them so much,” he teared up.
Mazarakis still plans on being involved and working from home to help organize the team while he recuperates.