Campbell Co., VA - At least 20 children in the viewing area are currently in chemotherapy. Now, local firefighters are making it their mission to bring awareness to childhood cancer.Tyler Peterson was diagnosed with cancer at six years old. Doctors found a 2.5 inch tumor on his pituitary gland. Since then he's had multiple brain surgeries and radiation.
"He does not have a thyroid, growth hormones or adrenal," said Amy Peterson, Tyler's Mom. The tumor also took some of his eyesight. Tyler now has no peripheral vision so he cannot participate in any sport where a ball could be flying at him.
"Kids don't understand that and can be kind of mean, but it's just one of the things he has to deal with," Amy added.
It's just one example of what kids with cancer deal with. Several families in our area are in the same boat: Isabel Stover has Leukemia; Emaleigh Blankenship has a kidney cancer and cloves disease; Ezra Hudson has Leukemia.
"There are so many kids in this area who are going through different illnesses and cancer - anything that can be done for them, send them a card," said Peterson.
So on Monday, fire departments from all over Central Virginia came together to do something special for Tyler.
"I just thought we could show some comradery to a little boy with cancer," said Kevin Chapman, firefighter, Brookville Timberlake Vol. Fire Dept.
Tyler, whose dream is to become a firefighter one day, tested out the truck and got some gear of his own to take home.
"Firefighters are labeled as heroes out here, but the real heroes are these small kids that are battling these terminal diseases," said Jerry Womack, Brookville Timberlake Vol. Fire Dept.
"It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the bad things that are happening, but with people being so supportive and showing love, it really helps you get through those scary days," said Peterson.
The American Cancer Society gives only 1% to childhood cancer research. According the ACS website, pediatric cancer makes up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year.
Most of the money for research goes towards new drugs for adult cancers.
Organizations Dedicated to Curing/Researching Childhood Cancer: