Bluffton firefighters help two of their own - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton firefighters help two of their own

By Jaime Dailey - bio | email

BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - Bluffton Firefighters were hard at work cooking Boston Butts to help two of their own. 

Over the past five years, the Department's Cooking Team helped a number of families struggling with illnesses.

The proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit two of their own, Lt. Matthew McDowell and firefighter David Rice. 

They both say they were touched by the turnout at today's annual event.

"Being out of work has been kind of tough, getting the bills paid and with Christmas presents coming up its really going to help out a lot," said Rice.

Firefighter Rice has been with the department since 2006 and never imagined he'd be on the receiving end of this fundraiser.

"I went in for a hernia repair and was diagnosed with a rare tumor on my adrenal gland," said Rice. "I'm going to be out of work until at least January and being the bread winner at home. My wife is a stay at home Mom and I've got four children so Christmas is going to be tough this year so this is going to really help out a lot."

Lt. Matt McDowell has been with the department for nearly 10 years. His life changed several months ago when he and his wife found out their unborn child, they're going to name Juliann has a rare heart defect.

"When she's born and they cut the embellical cord, she won't be able to breathe on her own so she's going to have to undergo three open heart surgeries to bypass the right side of her heart," said Lt. McDowell.

While the past few months have been stressful, Lt. McDowell says knowing his fellow firefighters are doing their part to help out makes a big difference.

"It really helps not only the financial part of the surgeries and everything that's down the road for us but the emotional strain because you know there are other people there to help you out and are rooting for you," said Lt. McDowell.

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