Area residents are coming together this holiday season to aid the family of a retired Shelton firefighter, who died Tuesday after battling cancer.

A GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/helping-the-skurat-family) was originally established months ago to assist the Skurat family, who live in Ansonia. Christopher “Opie” Skurat, who was 38, was a retired volunteer firefighter for the town of Shelton who was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in 2017.

The GoFundMe page  — which, as of Wednesday night, has raised $8,525 of the $25,000 goal — was originally created to assist Opie and his wife, Carla, with covering bills as the family focused on Opie’s care. According to the GoFundMe page, both “Opie and Carla have been unable to work due to all the doctors’ appointments, chemo treatments, surgeries and hospital stays. Not only has Carla been by Opie’s side, caring for him, but she has been the primary care provider and supporter for their two sons, Jake, 13, and Ryan, 10.”

But on Tuesday, with Opie’s death, the page’s fundraising focus has shifted to aiding the family as it deals with this loss.

“It is with deep regret the officers of the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co.1 announce the passing of past Lt. Christopher "Opie" Skurat ,” said company Capt. Mike Plavcan. “Opie passed away early this morning after bravely battling Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma since the summer of 2017. He is survived by his wife Carla, his two sons Jake and Ryan, his mother Donna, and sisters Gretchen and Karen.”

Plavcan stated in his post to “please keep the Skurat family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”