North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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November 8, 2012

Fire department raises awareness, funds for pancreatic cancer

FULTONDALE — A firefighter is again honoring a family member and helping others by raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer research.

Cpt. Bryan Powell is heading up an effort to sell T-shirts to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

This is the second year Powell and other firefighters have worked to put a spotlight on pancreatic cancer. He had heard little about the disease until his wife’s grandfather, Bill Brock, died of pancreatic cancer in 2007.

Brock, who served  with the Gardendale Fire Department from about 1970 to 2003, was called “Papa” by his family.

“Papa’s the whole reason we’re doing this,” Powell said. “He’s the inspiration behind it. He was a great man.”

Powell and his wife Julianne named their son Brock, who is 2, after their grandfather.

Last year, Powell raised $350 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It was his first attempt to organize such an effort, and his main goal was to increase awareness of pancreatic cancer.

This year he has set his sights higher, saying he will raise about $1,000 if he sells all of the shirts he had printed. Supplies are limited, but Powell said he will order another batch of shirts if there is enough interest.

The T-shirts are purple and feature a logo designed by Fultondale firefighter Brittany McBrayer.

Powell has already sold shirts to people in Muscle Shoals, Guntersville, Trussville and other areas, including north Jefferson.

The shirts are $15 each. All sizes except medium are available.

For more information or to order a shirt, contact Powell at or (205) 792-0184.

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