Matt Kosak: A firefighter who came to help

When sombody came to me last fall and said, “A gentleman from the Westminster Fire Department is here to see you,” I couldn’t imagine why. It was firefighter and paramedic Matt Kosak, who had another surprise for me: a generous check for the Julia Greeley Home! Matt had been named Community Advocate of the Year and was given money to put toward a good cause. He looked into our mission for helping homeless women achieve self sufficiency, and chose us.

There's quite a story behind Matt’s generosity. He won the award from the Westminster Citizen Fire Academy Alumni group (Westy CFIRE) for an outstanding series of choices he’s made in life, which I can only call heroic.

Besides being a Westminster firefighter and paramedic, Matt, who grew up in Arvada, fought for America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. When he got home he didn’t hang up his boots and take it easy — no, he volunteered to be a bone marrow donor to someone he never met.

Matt’s bone marrow donation saved that stranger’s life. To this day, the stranger is doing well, and her leukemia is in complete remission. That started a whole new role for Matt as a volunteer coordinator for the “Be the Match” foundation, which links bone marrow donors with recipients. 

Today Matt inspires others in the fire department, his EMT group, paramedic students and even city employees of Denver to donate bone marrow. Matt went beyond just inspiration to create a donation process so that it’s easier for individuals to sign up and get involved.

That’s how Matt’s exceptional outreach to so many led to his recognition as Westy CFIRE’s Community Advocate of the Year, and eventually to the Julia Greeley Home.

You know, 100 years ago, our patron, Julia Greeley, had a special ministry to firefighters and prayed for them always. So it was a pretty special thing to get that knock on the door last fall from firefighter Matt Kosak. Thank you, Matt, for all you do for so many, and what you did for the Julia Greeley Home!