CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – A local retired firefighter isn’t giving up on a push to help firefighters diagnosed with cancer. This after a bill to expand workers compensation for them died in the General Assembly.
Even though the bill failed to make it out of committee, lawmakers tabled it to study the cost of expanding the types of cancer.
As someone currently battling terminal cancer, retired firefighter David Creasy fights to get the proposed legislation back on the agenda.
“Every day I wake up, I’m blessed,” Creasy said.
Creasy is on a mission.
“The Lord has blessed me and left me here to, I think, speak to this bill,” he explained.
Twenty-five tumors were found on his liver. The disease has since spread to his hip, back. and right leg.
He was given one year to live.
“It’s a whole new world when you get cancer,” he said. “Nothing’s the same It’s a new normal.”
That new normal has motivated Creasy to advocate for a piece of legislation that would add brain, colon, and testicular cancer to a list of diseases covered by the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Act.
“Workman’s comp turns down more claims than they approve,” Creasy explained. “And so we’ve got to get down to real numbers. We’ve got to get down to the fact that it’s not going to cost millions and millions.”
The bill also advocated for those affected to jump through fewer hoops to prove the job caused their conditions.
“Some studies have said that more than 50,000 chemicals are coming out of that building when it’s on fire. We can’t measure a lot of them. We don’t’ know how much exposure we get.”
Even though the bill is tabled this session to study costs, Creasy keeps working to secure financial support for firefighters across the Commonwealth.
“In the past three years I’ve lost 15 friends, and that’s too much,” Creasy added.
Creasy tells 8News he visits fire departments across Virginia to gain support for the bill and to encourage firefighters to keep a log of every fire they respond to.