Schaumburg firefighter dies after cancer fight

  • Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg in 2012 with his wife, Maureen, and then 21-month-old daughter, Emma. Mike Solberg died Friday after a battle with brain cancer.

    Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg in 2012 with his wife, Maureen, and then 21-month-old daughter, Emma. Mike Solberg died Friday after a battle with brain cancer. Courtesy of Solberg Family

  • Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg. left, greets Highland Park firefighter Peter Tameling at a fundraiser in Palatine last December to benefit Solberg and his family. Solberg died Friday after a battle with brain cancer that began in 2012.

    Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg. left, greets Highland Park firefighter Peter Tameling at a fundraiser in Palatine last December to benefit Solberg and his family. Solberg died Friday after a battle with brain cancer that began in 2012. Steve Zalusky/Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 5/9/2016 2:39 PM

Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg died Friday at the age of 34 after a 3-year battle with brain cancer.

"It is with a heavy heart, we announce the passing of one of our own, Mike Solberg," the Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Association posted on its Facebook page Friday night. "Mike fought until the end and lived every minute to the fullest. He was not only courageous, but an example of how we should live our life day to day. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this time."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Schaumburg Fire Chief David Schumann said his department is in mourning and that firefighter honors will be a part of Solberg's funeral services.

"It's always difficult when you lose a co-worker and friend," Schumann said on behalf of the department. "But they're going to get through it. Firefighters are resilient."

Solberg, a Park Ridge resident and son of Palatine Councilman Greg Solberg, joined the Schaumburg department on Oct. 12, 2012. Two weeks later, debilitating headaches led him to an emergency room where a CT scan and MRI revealed a brain tumor the size of an orange.

Just days later, he underwent surgery to remove the grade four tumor, an advanced malignancy known as glioblastoma.

The cancer went into remission and Solberg was able to return to the department in full capacity. But the tumors returned last June, moving him to light duty as he went to rehab for occupational and physical therapy.

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In December, the colleagues who rallied around him held a benefit for Solberg and his family at Durty Nellie's in Palatine.

Solberg is survived by his wife Maureen, young daughter Emma, his parents, a brother, two sisters and extended family.

Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at Cumberland Chapels, 8300 W. Lawrence Ave. in Norridge.

Funeral services will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, at the funeral home and then proceed to St. Eugene Church, 7598 W. Foster Ave. in Chicago, for Mass at 10 a.m.

Interment will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Road in Hillside.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity for which Solberg dedicated so much time -- the Schaumburg Firefighter's Fighting Cancer Pink Tie Ball, 950 W. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg IL 60194 or pinktieball4092.com.

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