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In October of 2015, my husband Nathaniel Crump was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Only being in our 20's and newly married this news was unbearable. After two years of Chemotherapy treatments from CARTI and traveling to MD Anderson Nathaniel lost his ultimate battle in June of 2017. There are a million different words I could use to describe Nathaniel but strong and courageous stick out the most. No matter how bad he was feeling, Nathaniel stood tall and had the faith that cancer would not beat or define him. Nathaniel and I were high school sweet hearts and his large smile and heart won me over from the beginning. He wanted to make a difference in the world and being a Little Rock Fire Fighter and Volunteer Fire Fighter for the Antioch Fire Department was his passion. Helping strangers was just a part of who he was. Nathaniel never thought twice about going into a burning building, standing in the freezing rain to direct traffic from an accident in the middle of the night or responding to a medical emergency. Each of us could learn from Nathaniel in more ways than I can count. In a blink of an eye, cancer changed our future together. We all lost a brave man who was a remarkable example of what we should all strive to be in life. The most important I can do now is to spread Nathaniel's name and make sure everyone knows how special he was, about his battle with Colon Cancer, and to raise money and awareness for future Fire Fighters. The goal of the Crump Conquering Cancer 5K will bring awareness and funds to Fire Fighters that risk there lives everyday for us. Last year we were able to present a check with the money that was raised to the Little Rock Fire Department for 10,000 dollars. This money will be into their cancer fund for other Fire Fighters and their families to use as needed. The event will be held at Two Rivers Park in Little Rock, AR on APRIL 6TH AT 9:00AM. Please consider donating and becoming a sponsor to this wonderful event.
According to the American Cancer society the estimated number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for the year 2019 is 101, 420 new cases. 1 out of every 24 men and 1 out of every 22 women have the risk of developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime. It is also expected that 51,020 colorectal cancer patients will die during the year of 2019. Take a minute to think about that. Risk factors commonly include smoking, obesity, older adults, family history and exposure to different carcinogens. (American Cancer Society, 2019) Nathaniel was diagnosed in 2015 at the age of 28. He was not associated with any risk factors except for being exposed to many different carcinogens from being a fire fighter. “Carcinogenic compounds are chemicals that when exposed to the body can cause permanent damage to cells that can induce a transformation into a cancerous cell. Not only are firefighters exposed to the inhalation of these gases, they are exposed to them back at the station from the carcinogenic compounds that collects on turnout gear and equipment during a fire. Firefighters are also exposed to toxic chemicals during hazardous materials incidents. Additionally, firefighters are exposed to diesel soot at the station that is known to cause cancer”. (Barsi & Bergman, 2010). The CCC 5K will help us bring awareness about the risk factors associated with being a fire fighter and cancer as well as help fire fighters and their families in need.
From last years race we were able to give the Little Rock Fire Department 10,000 dollars to go into their cancer fund to be used by fire fighters suffering from cancer.
Colon Cancer is one of a number of cancers that science has shown is linked to fighting fires. Nathaniel exhausted all of his sick leave while he was fighting cancer and was forced to go back to work in his final month of his life, rather than receive treatments that could have helped him.
Under the current laws, in the state of Arkansas right now, we expect our firefighters to show up and fight our fires, while they are simultaneously fighting cancer. They deserve better. Nathaniel deserved better.
That is why HB1299: Crump's Law was filled 1/30/2019. This would provide firefighter's a year's worth of sick leave if they contract one of these types of cancer.
Pictured: Mathew Stallings, Nicole Clowney, & Jessica Crump
We need everyone to contact their Represenative and request they vote for HB1299. You can download the LobbyUp app to find out who your representative is and how to contact them!
Your generous gift will help us fund our mission to help those in need. Together, we can make a difference in many fire fighters and their families lives.