Sunday, February 25, 2007


And All For A Good Cause!
Last November Sue Scarbrough discovered a lump on her breast while taking a shower. On December 14th she learned that it was Cancer. Scarbrough and her husband, Russ, told their family, as most people in their situation would do. The Scarbrough’s however had an extended family to tell as well. You see Russ and Sue are both members of the Elyria Township Fire Department. Russ has been with the Fire Department, on and off, for about 20 years. Sue joined the Department a little over three years ago. “I went to EMT school so I could learn some of the lingo and get an idea what they are doing out there”. When Sue received her certification as an EMT she took it to the station to show her husband and she was given a pager and placed on the roster. Since then she has one of the highest yearly on scene percentage rates of anyone on the department, going to an average of 85 to 90% of calls each year. Her husband says that if Sue doesn’t show up on a call people call the house making sure she is ok.

When the news spread through the Department about the Breast Cancer the other members weren’t sure what to say or do. Russ compared it to the time when Sue had part of her finger cut off at a call about a year ago. “You always feel like you can fix things, she cuts the end of her finger off, ok we take her to the hospital and we get it fixed. With this one, everybody had that feeling of, how the hell do I fix this for her? I don’t know how, I can’t. It’s a helpless feeling. Nobody knew what to say and this group is rarely speechless but this hit them hard and they didn’t know what to say.”
Saturday was the Fire Departments annual “Cabin Fever” Steak Fry held at St. Vincent’s on North Ridge Road. As a show of support to Sue some of the guys on the Department had their heads shaved. Elyria Barber Richard D. Shupp from the Shupp Shop Barber Shop volunteered his time and expertise in shaving about a half dozen heads. Elyria Township Firefighter Dave Keener said, “Sue is a part of the family and we love her and wish her the best and we want to make sure she is ok. We are a Fire Department, you basically sign on the line I’m willing to die for you, and I’m willing to go all the way. If you go down inside I will go right in after you. That is what we do for each other; everybody takes care of everybody down here. It really is a second family and we’ll be here for Sue for whatever she needs.”
Scarbrough said that if anything good came from all of this it is that a cousin of hers who has never had a mammogram before decided because of her situation she would be tested. They did discover a lump and are now waiting on word back from a biopsy. “She is 41, not married and no children and said she had just never considered having one so I am glad that it is being taken care of now.”

Sue was not at a loss for words when I asked her how she felt about the Department and what they have done for her. “I grew up as an only child, but that I’m not anymore. I love these people and I want to thank them for being there for me because without them I don’t know how I would get through this. I’ve had a few really bad days and it always happens to be when there is a call and they are there. Thank God I have them.”
To see more photos: CLICK HERE


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry, I wanted to thank you for coming out and doing a great article. Thanks again.


1:29 PM  
Blogger firebug42362 said...

Thanks Terry for doing such a good job and making me feel comfortable and not awkward. Thanks to all of my "brothers and sisters" for being there for me through this and for being a great support system for Russ also.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Had a great time there, at the 911 table and was wondering why so many firefighters were bald!! You guys are truly awesome! I know, I work with one of ya! How's that headache, Bbell?? ;)

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great article and some nice pics of my melon Terry. You were really able to convey in your story how much we truly love Sue! Thanks again.


1:27 PM  

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