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Botetourt County Fire and EMS 'Fight Gracefully' against breast cancer

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BOTETOURT (WSLS 10) - A local firefighter who has spent nearly 30 years helping others is now hoping cancer won't take her off the job. Members of Botetourt County Fire and EMS are rallying together to "Fight Gracefully" and raise money to help off-set medical expenses.

"Excepting that your life is probably never going to be the same," is one of the hardest challenges Botetourt County Fire and EMS Lt. Gracey Humbert is learning to accept.

In July, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The challenge is supporting family," said Humbert, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I have a 12-year-old daughter and it's keeping her strong."

Shortly after she was diagnosed, she broke the news to her second family. During the past seven years, Humbert has been a part of Botetourt County Fire and EMS. Before that, she worked for Roanoke Fire-EMS and began her career helping others in 1988 volunteering at Cave Spring Rescue.

"Once I got into it I was hooked," explained Humbert.

Now, more than ever, she's hoping to lean on this family she's built up for nearly three decades.

"It's almost like having your funeral while you're alive because people come out and tell you what they mean to you," commented Humbert. "You feel all that love and that means a lot."

Making a career in the fire and EMS service, 28 years to be exact, she has touched the lives of hundreds of people across Southwest Virginia.

"People look to Gracey when they're down and need support; she's usually always there for that," said Botetourt County Fire Chief Jason Ferguson. "It's our turn to be there for her."

The department has started selling "Fight Gracefully" bracelets and bumper stickers. It will also hold a woman-less fashion show on October 8 at the Flying Mouse Brewery to raise money to help offset medical expenses.

"That definitely will be an event not to be missed," added Ferguson.

It's where the men walk the runway.

"I got to practice the turn," said Ferguson jokingly.

With the support of fellow colleagues, Humbert said this unforeseen journey is made easier. She is expecting to start treatment in the next month.

If you would like to help, an account in Gracey's name is set up at the Bank of Fincastle.

For more information visit: http://botetourtfireems.org/apps/public/news/newsView.cfm?News_ID=95.