Who was Levi Wilkins? Tributes pour in as Oklahoma firefighter and Stage 4 cancer survivor dies while rock climbing
Levi Wilkins, a firefighter for the Norman Fire Department, recently died at the age of 36 after meeting with an accident during rock climbing. The New York Post reported that the accident happened last week, and the news was revealed by his wife, Emily, through Facebook.
"There's no easy or graceful way to say this. @leviswilins died in a rock climbing accident yesterday. He was the most incredible husband, father, son, brother & friend. Having been together since we were 16 I don't know how to do life without him and I never wanted to learn," Emily's Facebook post read.
Emily added that her husband also fought cancer, and after recovery, he "believed every day was a gift." She ended her post by writing:
"I'm not sure how we will face the future without him, but we will do our best to carry on his legacy of wonder and adventure."
Apart from Emily, Levi's survivors include their three children.
Levi Wilkins was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in 2019
As mentioned earlier, Levi Wilkins was a firefighter for the Norman Fire Department. He was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal cancer in 2019, and after his recovery, he developed an interest in rock climbing.
According to a blog post in MD Anderson Cancer Center in June 2023, Wilkins developed the symptoms two years before his diagnosis and visited a physician after having trouble working following his participation in a marathon in Oklahoma in 2018. After undergoing a test, he found that he was anemic.
"I found that pretty strange. I'd never been anemic before. But something odd was going on. The doctor sent me to several specialists to figure out what it was. But none of my local rheumatologists or hematologists could. Their best guess was that it might be lupus," he said.
He visited another physician, and a cancerous tumor was found in his abdomen. He came to MD Anderson Cancer Center, and a group of doctors revealed that he had adrenocortical carcinoma. He was advised to undergo chemotherapy alongside surgery and radiation therapy.
Levi Wilkins returned to work and planned to continue climbing mountains. His next destination was the Himalayas in 2025.
Netizens pay tribute to Levi Wilkins on social media platforms
According to the Kansas City Star, Levi met with an accident while rock climbing at a wildlife refuge. He fell while climbing at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge on September 22, 2023. The cause of the fall remains unknown.
Netizens paid tribute to Wilkins on social media platforms when they heard the news of his death:
Dignity Memorial states that Levi's funeral is scheduled to be held from 10 am at the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church on October 3, 2023.