SAN DIMAS, Calif. (KABC) -- A San Dimas firefighter has died, not long after he was diagnosed with a rare and deadly neurological disease.
Doctors told Ryan Wilson Palmer he had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as CJD. It is an incredibly rare affliction that affects about one in a million people. It's a swiftly, progressive neuro-degenerative disorder that kills most patients within a year. It occurs when a protein called a prion folds abnormally.
He died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on Saturday.
Palmer had just married his wife Wendy in February. She had become his 24-hour caregiver in his final days.
Shortly before he passed, a close group of his friends celebrated his 49th birthday, even though it wasn't for another several months. Wendy wanted to celebrate him while he could still enjoy it.
The family started a GoFundMe to help with the sudden onslaught of medical expenses.