HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) One Horry County firefighter is facing the biggest battle of his life right now, and his family and friends have turned to WMBF News to Pass the Cash.
Lt. David Nelson with Horry County Fire and Rescue says, "Most people that work for the fire department, it's not so much about the pay, it's more about, you really enjoy the job."
The job of a firefighter is not easy. They put their lives on the line to protect us, spending days away from their families.
That's why it's so important they have a strong relationship with other firefighters.
"It's a brotherhood so to speak, and a sisterhood, that we enjoy. It's like another family," adds Nelson.
Just as any family would do in times of need, the Horry County Fire Rescue family helps out their own.
Right now, the emergency call is for Lucas Rainville, a firefighter who's toughest battle is the one he's waging against colon cancer.
"He's always had a very good attitude and nice guy to get around with and help you anytime he could," says Nelson of his friend and co-worker.
Capt. Brian Archiblad agrees, saying, "[Rainville's] a great guy, loves to be a part of the fire department and help people."
Lucas is on leave from the fire department while he goes through chemotherapy and radiation.
To get treatment, Lucas and his wife make weekly trips to Charleston. Treatment and the trips would be a strain on the best of budgets, but especially for a man who's used to providing for his family.
"I know times are tough for everybody and stuff...especially traveling two and a half hours down there...takes a lot out of somebody," Nelson says.
The couple has to leave their kids with family during the week since they are not allowed in Lucas' room.
"Whether it's volunteer or career, it's all the same, all look out for one another and take care of the brother/sisterhood, make sure everything's good and if they need something. We'll jump in to help out," explains Capt. Brian Archibald.
"We're thinking bout ya and I thought you could used this," says Nelson as he passes on the $300 to Lucas. "There's 100, 200, 300 dollars."
Lucas said his cancer diagnosis has touched people all around him.
"You kinda realize who your friends are and who takes care of you when stuff like this happens and I was surprised about all of the people that were so willing to help," admits Lucas. "People that I hadn't talked to in years."
Charity Rainville, Lucas' wife, says the out pouring of help didn't come as a surprise to her. "He was so surprised when everybody kinda came out of the woodwork to help him. But I mean, the people that knew him, I was like 'why are you so surprised?'."
Lucas said his job as a firefighter has prepared him for his cancer fight.
"I work in a field where we see lots of stuff happen to people all the time. I have a lot around me to be happy about," says Lucas.
He says he'll be even happier when he gets to return to duty, protecting the people of Horry County.
"Things get hard," confirms Lucas. "Well, you gotta go to work and gotta take care of things and that's just the way it is." Lucas laughs as he says he may not be the only one ready for him to head back to work. "She used to complain because I was at work all the time, and now I'm here all the time," jokes Lucas speaking of his wife.
One of the major ways the fire department can help Lucas is through the "Horry County Firefighters Relief Fund."
It's a non-profit group that raises money to help fellow firefighters who may need it.