Scouts raise $5,569 for Kill Devil Hills firefighter battling cancer

By on July 10, 2018

Marion Siefferman presents $5,569 check to Luis “Louie” Rodriguez.

Last Friday night, firefighters, town officials and adult volunteers were on hand to witness the efforts of two youth groups on behalf of a local firefighter battling an aggressive form of cancer.

The fundraising work of Cub Scout Pack 116 and Boy Scout Troop 116 was both amazing and inspiring and demonstrate the best qualities of Outer Banks residents when one of their own needs a helping hand.

Luis “Louie” Rodriguez is a 33-year-old full-time firefighter for the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department as well as a volunteer for the Colington Volunteer Fire Department. He has nine years combined service in the two departments.

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Recently, Louie was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. The disease usually presents itself without any symptoms but typically does not spread aggressively.

In Louie’s case, the cancer  spread, undetected, to his lungs, creating a more difficult treatment plan and prognosis.

After two doctors told him to prepare for the worst, Louie was able to visit Duke University Hospital, where doctors decided to remove the thyroid tumor and introduce a plan to treat the lung tumors in a manner that can minimize their size and hopefully keep them in check for a long time.

These treatments will be a permanent part of Louie’s life and therefore pose a significant financial burden.

Louie’s son, Dylan, is a member of Cub Scout Pack 116, and when his fellow Cub Scouts learned of Louie’s situation, they joined forces with Boy Scout Troop 116 and decided to raise some money.

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Marion Siefferman, the Pack Committee chairman for Cub Scout Pack 116 and the advancement chairman for Boy Scout Troop 116 told the assembled crowd on Friday that when they hadn’t seen Dylan and Louie for several weeks, they became concerned.

“Then we saw a post from a friend on Luis on Facebook with a GoFundMe account and an explanation of what Luis was going through and our hearts sank,” she said.

“The first we all thought about was what we as a small Cub Scout pack could do to help,” she continued.

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“We came up with the idea of a car wash since the scouts use this activity to raise money for themselves, and it would be something we could all participate in. However, we knew it had to be bigger than the $500 to $600 we normally raise, and we would need help, “ Siefferman said.

The two Scouting groups sought the help of the KDH and Colington fire departments and the Kill Devil Hill Board of Commissioners, who in turn got the word out to town employees.

Local media also promoted the car wash, which led to the “biggest factor” in the fund raiser, according to Siefferman — the participation of the local community in bringing their cars and donations to the car wash.

The results far exceeded any car wash fund raiser the two Scout groups had conducted before, and an emotional Rodriguez was presented a check for an amazing $5,569 by Siefferman on behalf of the Scout pack and troop.

Rodriguez, speaking in a low voice as a result of recent surgery to remove the tumor from his throat and vocal chords, thanked the Scouts, the volunteers and the community at large, noting that when he and his son joined the Cub Scouts, they knew they would become part of a family, but didn’t know how deep those ties would bind.

Remarks were also given by Kill Devil Hills Fire Chief Troy Tilley and Colington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Glenn Rainey, as well as KDH commissioners John Windley and Terry Gray.

Windley’s son is a member of Cub Scout Pack 116 and Gray is a former Boy Scout.

Readers can continue to donate to help Rodriguez by visiting this GoFundMe page started by EMS colleague Valerie Denigris: https://www.gofundme.com/one-team-one-fight

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