RICHMOND, Va. -- An important piece of equipment to help a local retired fire marshal is slated to arrive in town from Florida Monday.
David Creasy spent 48 years fighting fires, but is now facing a different battle: stage four cancer.
Richmond firefighter Roger Myers lost his father to cancer in December, so he devised a plan to help Chief Creasy by giving him his father’s scooter.
Since his father was in Florida, dozens of fire departments in five states helped transport it up the coast to Virginia via "The Great Scooter Brigade" while raising awareness about the cancer risks firefighters face on the job.
Creasy said he has no family history of cancer, so his doctors believe his 48 years battling fires likely led to his illness. Creasy points to studies that have found firefighters are exposed to up 50,000 toxins or carcinogens when responding to a structure fire.
Creasy said he hopes ever firefighter helping his new scooter along the way will research the cancer risks they face on a daily basis.
"It’s not just about a scooter traveling from fire department to fire department. It’s about, hey, this is about cancer,” he said.
His doctors told Creasy he is doing better than most patients in his circumstance. Creasy credits that, in part, to the support of he has gotten from firefighters across the country.
"I lay that to the support and positive attitudes we take towards the treatments,” Creasy said.
The financial challenges of cancer are also impacting Creasy’s journey. He said he pays thousands of dollars out of pocket each month to pay for treatments not covered by his insurance. It is one reason Creasy urges all firefighters to explore their cancer insurance options.
On top of the scooter, Myers set up a Pay Pal account to help the family pay for medical expenses.
You can track the scooter’s journey of Facebook; it is scheduled to arrive at Chesterfield Fire Station Fifteen Monday morning and CBS 6 plans to be there.