IW rallies for woman

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Terry Curran, a former bank teller for Old Point National Bank in Carrollton, never suspected she would be on the receiving end of one of her regular customers’ benevolence.

Bryan Grasser, president of Isle of Wight Firefighters Union, with the help of Isle of Wight County fire departments and rescue squads, presented Curran with a $1,000 check recently to help with Curran’s healthcare costs.

“At first, I didn’t quite know what was going on,” Curran said. “It was really nice.”

Email newsletter signup

Grasser and company showed up on Curran’s doorstep unannounced and surprised her with the check.

Curran has been battling ovarian cancer for the last five years. She is also a breast cancer survivor of more than 20 years.

“The last few years have been challenging to say the least,” she said. “But we’ve been making it.”

Curran said she had been experiencing discomfort and brought it up with her gynecologist. She learned the very same day that she had ovarian cancer.

“It was devastating,” she said. “It was almost like watching a movie about someone else.”

Grasser and the union were informed about Curran’s condition and wanted to help.

“We wanted to do something in conjunction with the volunteers to give back to somebody,” Grasser said.

Beginning on Sept. 1, the union coordinated with various fire and rescue departments in the area and gathered orders for pink t-shirts, honoring Breast Cancer Awareness month, for Curran’s cause.

The shirts were then worn during the month of October by first responders all over the county.

Originally, Grasser said he “didn’t know what to expect” regarding community support for the initiative. However, the support exceeded his expectations.

Grasser didn’t anticipate making more than one full order of t-shirts. In the end, the union ended up making two.

“I personally feel it was a huge success,” he said.

In addition to the union’s initiative, Curran’s former employer raised thousands of dollars to help with her medical bills. She has also received support from family, friends and even complete strangers.

“It has been so overwhelming to see the community come together to help with our medical bills,” Curran said. “It’s been such a blessing.”

To this day, Curran is appreciative of her gynecologist’s early detection of her cancer.

“Thank goodness he listened,” she said. “Please listen to your body.”

Grasser and the union hope to make their initiative an annual event to benefit cancer survivors or those battling cancer in the Isle of Wight area.