Firefighters across East Coast rally to support Richmond Fire Marshal battling cancer
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond Fire Marshal fighting cancer is getting help from his brothers and sisters from fire departments across the country. A scooter in Florida is being transported between dozens of fire stations, up the East Coast, to help Fire Marshall David Creasy get around more easily during treatment.
"It was very debilitating. I didn't have any strength or energy," said Creasy of chemo therapy.
He's now enduring his second round. For Creasy, 65, receiving the scooter isn't just about his battle with cancer. Creasy says it's about helping other firefighters battle what could be a similar fate.
"Firefighters need to take care of themselves better… They need to decontaminate themselves," explained Creasy.
Creasy has long been nicknamed "Chico" by his fellow firefighters. The nickname is drawn from Freddie Prinze's character in the 70s sitcom, Chico and the Man.
"A lot of people said I looked like Freddie Prinze," said Creasy, in his office at the Richmond Fire Department headquarters. He still goes to work every day, despite stage four neuroendocrine cancer.
Now, "Team Chico" is moving the scooter and lift from Lakeland, Florida to Chesterfield, via firetruck, trailer, or any means possible. The scooter will be passed from fire station to fire station, along the way. Firefighters will learn of the 48-year fire service veteran's situation, and how to prevent cancer from toxin exposure on the job, themselves.
"He's one of the most amazing, humble guys you'll ever meet in your life," said Richmond Master Firefighter Roger Myers.
The scooter belonged to Myers' father, who recently died of cancer in Florida. Myers Sr. and Creasy became long distance friends, sharing a similar struggle.
"I said, 'Hey, can you give my dad a call? Maybe you can cheer him up a little bit,'" said Myers.
Myers' father wanted for Creasy to have the scooter, after he passed. Creasy just wanted to warn other firefighters of lowering their risk of cancer. Cancer from exposure to dangerous chemicals, toxins and gases, claims more lives of firefighters than any other hazard they face on the job, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The scooter is set to arrive in Chesterfield on Jan. 16.
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