FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. – Communities around Virginia are rallying behind a volunteer firefighter who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system.
Every day, firemen and women put their lives on the line; they risk getting burned and suffering smoke inhalation.
And on top of those perils, firefighters are exposed to a great deal of chemicals and materials which increases their cancer risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Volunteer firefighters too are vulnerable, like career fire men and women – and all place their lives on the line.
Kent Store Volunteer Firefighter Victor Breeden has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the tight-knit community he serves has stepped up to help him in return.
Breeden, a youth pastor and Marine, dedicated his life to helping others.
On April 3, there will be a blood drive in Breeden’s honor.
Breeden himself is receiving a lot of blood transfusions and the community wanted to honor him, to try and make something positive out of his tragic illness.
“We really need to have some discussion and some dialogue, and we really need to bring awareness to the fact that cancer is killing a tremendous amount of firefighters across the country,” said Kent’s Store Volunteer Fire Chief Andrew Pullen, in an interview with Newsplex, our Charlottesville affiliate.
“There’s many types of cancer,” said Pullen. “But the data shows that firefighters are far more likely than the average citizen to be diagnosed with cancer and we have to do things to protect ourselves and our families.”
On the Facebook page Charge the Line, volunteers can sign up to donate blood. If you can’t donate, friends said that a prayer for Vic will do just fine.
The blood drive is April 3 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Fluvanna High School. If you are interested in donating, click here.