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Firefighter Battles Leukemia

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

January 31, 2006

Firefighters put their life on the line for others every day and now one needs your help. Rescue workers in Scottsville are collecting money to save the life of one of their own coworkers.

Firefighters in Scottsville are banding together to raise money for one of their brothers--who's fallen victim to a deadly disease, leukemia. But they aren't waiting in the shadows, they're making phone calls and knocking on doors.

His name is Brian Spradlin. He's 25 years old and a single father to a 2 1/2-month-old child, a child that could be fatherless in a matter of months or even weeks.

"[I'm] kind of scared, a little worried not [knowing] what's going to happen, that's probably the scariest part," said fellow firefighter Steven Morris.

Spradlin was diagnosed with leukemia, but was supposed to be in remission. The cancer, however, crept back and UVa hospital told the family there's nothing more they can do.

"We're trying to give Brian a second chance. In working with the doctors at UVa and his parents, we've located a hospital in Houston, Texas that offers him the best chance," said Timothy M. Karr Scottsville Chaplain.

The only problem is, his insurance won't cover it. That's why his fellow firefighters are working to collect funds.

"He's a real good firefighter. If I had to pick somebody to pick to go into a building that's on fire with me, I'd pick Brian," said fellow firefighter Joseph Plumb.

The Scottsville Station is going door-to-door, making phone calls, and setting out jars to raise the $45,000 he needs up-front.

"We're hopeful. Firefighters bond together and we step-up. When one of us gets knocked down, the rest of us step up to the plate and we'll get it done," said Karr.

"It's really important because he's a really good man to the community," said his 11-year-old cousin Scott Spradlin.

The fire department thinks they've raised $6,000 in their first day, but they still have a long way to go and not a lot of time. Their goal is to have Spradlin in Houston by next week. If you would like to donate go to any BB&T Bank and put money into the Earl Spradlin savings account.


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