The Statesboro Fire Department added an orange ribbon to their uniforms last week to show support for Deputy Chief Ronnie Shaw who was recently diagnosed with AML (Leukemia).
Statesboro Fire Department Chief, Tim Grams, said Shaw suffered a heart attack on Oct. 23. After his blood work results came back abnormal in the emergency room, Grams said doctors found the cancer.
Shaw started as a firefighter with the department in 1978, and worked his way up through the department over almost 40 years.
"He's actually the only member within the department that's held every position within the department, including fire chief. He was the interim for a few months," Chief Grams said.
Grams said he does not know what stage of cancer Shaw has, but did confirm he is receiving chemotherapy treatments in Augusta, Ga.
Along with the orange ribbon addition to the uniform, the department will also do several fundraisers to help cover his medical expenses.
The department is selling orange ribbon t-shirts for $15 and Boston butts for $25. People can purchase these items through a firefighter or at one of the city's fire stations.
Boston butts can be picked up at the fire station at 24 West Grady Street on Dec. 8. The fire department will also host a blood drive Dec. 20.
"That is one thing his family did request specifically, because he was having to get quite a bit of blood transfusions and platelet transfusions, especially in the beginning," Chief Grams said.
One of the eight core values of the fire department is brotherhood, and Chief Grams said they are taking that to heart.
"It truly is more than just a word for us. We do consider a lot of these guys our family."
If you would like to purchase a t-shirt or Boston butt, call the fire station's administrative office at 912-764-3473.