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Firefighters shave heads to support colleague’s son with cancer
WATCH Firefighters shave heads to support colleague’s son with cancer
A Virginia fire department is coming together in support of a fellow fireman’s toddler, who is fighting cancer.
The Richmond Fire Department has raised close to $50,000 after 3-year-old Caleb Lambert was diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma in February, dad Courtland Lambert told ABC News.
“Me and my wife are extremely humbled,” said Lambert, a resident of Mechanicsville, Virginia. “You don’t ever think that your child is going to have to go through something like that. We’ve quickly realized how much a text or phone call can mean. you feel so grateful from the outpouring of support from everybody.”
Lambert, a 15-year firefighter and dad of three, informed his colleagues that his son had cancer immediately after he was diagnosed.
“You live with these people for 24 hours a day; on average, we work about 10 days a month,” Lambert said. “The fire department as a whole is probably around 400 to 415 people. they’ve been working shifts for me so I don’t even have to use my time. The fire [department] is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. I’m glad that it’s been there for me when I needed it.”
Caleb has been receiving chemotherapy treatments at VCU Medical Center in Richmond.
The station immediately began fundraising for Caleb’s medical expenses, Lambert’s fellow firefighter Betty Migliaccchio told ABC News.
Members of the Richmond Fire Department shaved their heads for charity in support of a fellow fireman’s toddler, Caleb Lambert. who is fighting cancer.
“We went back to the station that night and started talking about how this is going to be big,” Migliaccchio said. “We started to figure out how we were going to get [Lambert’s] shifts covered. We work so well together that when something happens in a family, it touches us personally.”
Since Caleb loves fire trucks and visiting “Daddy’s fire station,” Migliaccchio asked fellow firefighters to send videos of them giving tours of their own firehouses to the Facebook page Team Caleb — something Caleb’s dad would do over FaceTime each night before bedtime.
Soon, the videos came pouring in from all over the world, Migliaccchio said.
The Richmond Fire Department has raised close to $50,000.
Over the next month, the firefighters of Station 1 in Richmond launched a GoFundMe and sold T-shirts. On Saturday, they raffled off a truck and shaved their heads in honor of Caleb, partnering with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for a fundraiser.
“Fundraising events, like the one on March 25, and volunteers, like the firefighters of Richmond, are why the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is now the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants,” said Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s chief executive officer. “The foundation’s success in funding lifesaving research for kids like Caleb Lambert wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Migliaccchio hopes the weekend helped meet the fundraising goal of $100,000 for Caleb and his family, she said.
Caleb, pictured with his dad Courtland Lambert, a 15-year firefighter, and his mom, Kimberley, a nurse.