Riner volunteer firefighters host an event for those battling cancer

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RINER (WSLS10) Firefighters in the New River Valley need your help.

Three firemen and one of their wives are battling cancer.

"It'll make you think about things, it really will, it's a shock, " Eric Cunningham, an engineer with the Riner Volunteer Fire Department said.

Cunnigham has been at the department for 10 years, and was diagnosed with Lymphoma about two years ago.

"I found out going to the doctor, just going for a cold," Cunningham said.

He said the diagnosis forced him to put life into perspective. He's not the only one battling cancer.

Two of fellow firemen have also been diagnosed with cancer.

Joe Pack has lung cancer, Glen Wood has esophageal cancer, and Wood's wife Peggy also has lung cancer.

Despite the firemen battling for their lives, they're still working for the department - doing as much as they can, even responding to calls.

"I ran calls. Sometimes I couldn't if I was right in the middle of a round of chemo, I couldn't - my body was wiped out and I just physically couldn't. When I could I did," Cunningham said.

The fire chief says their dedication is inspirational.

"When we hear the tone go off and decide I don't feel like going and then you look at one of these guys and say, 'Hey, he got up last night and got up at two o'clock and went on to the call,' so they're a real inspiration," Jerry Saul, the chief of the Riner Volunteer Fire Department said.

To help with those who are battling cancer, organizers at the department are hosting a benefit concert at Auburn High School from 3pm to 7pm Saturday to help pay for medical expenses.

There will be a live and silent auction.