‘Shields of Hope’ surprises Ottawa County reserve deputy fighting cancer

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OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. – Grant Gerig is in the fight of his life against cancer. But on Tuesday, he learned that he isn’t doing it alone.

Gerig is an Ottawa County Sheriff’s reserve deputy who found out just a few weeks ago that he has rectal cancer. Now, the sheriff and his deputies are making sure Gerig knows they have his back.

To help remind him he has plenty of support, the sheriff and a large number of the department surprised him at his house in an emotional showing of support for one of their own.

“We know that we can’t cure cancer for you, but we know that we can give you a hug we can tell you we love you and that you’re not fighting alone,” said Jeff Potter with Shields of Hope,is a non-profit group run by public safety officers in West Michigan. Their mission is to spread encouragement to people diagnosed with cancer and let them know they have a community backing them up.

“In law enforcement, whether you are full-time or a reserve like Grant, we’re all family,” says Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker. “It hits hard with u, because we never think it can happen to any of us when cancer sets in.”

Gerig was given a Shields of Hope coin tto symbolize his ongoing fight against cancer. He also got to sign the Shields of Hope car, where there are more than 30 names of others like him.

Gerig goes in for surgery Wednesday.

If you’d like to help, you can donate to Shields of Hope.

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