Firefighters are dedicated to come to a person’s aid during a time of emergency. However, when the call came out to help one of their own, they took action.
Logan Droke, a 17 year old senior at Creekview High School and a former Cherokee County Fire Explorer is currently battling leukemia for the 4th time since 2011. He is also the son of Cherokee County Firefighter, Randall Droke, who works at Fire Station #1 located off Bells Ferry Road.
Logan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2011 when he was 9 years old. The cancer went into remission, but came back in 2015 and went into remission again and came back again last summer. His doctors decided to have him undergo CAR-T Therapy. This is a type of treatment in which a patient's cells are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancerous cells. Logan began feeling better after this therapy and experienced eight months of a somewhat normal life for a teen. Unfortunately, Logan’s cancer resurfaced again. His doctors began chemotherapy and are urgently looking into trial treatment options which may include traveling to another state for treatment.
Unfortunately, in December of 2018, Logan’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because it was caught early and treated swiftly, she is now doing well, but still has to undergo some additional surgery. The family at home also consists of three other school-aged children and an insulin-dependent grandparent who also needs care.
Logan is definitely a fighter and he expressed his thoughts by saying this in a recent essay he had written, “Throughout my life I have always known my dad to be a hard worker and if he really wanted to do something he would do his best to make it happen. When my dad started the process to become a firefighter I was amazed. I always knew he was going to make it in, but the amount of effort he put in was just the greatest thing I have been able to witness my dad do. He was 45 years old when he decided to make this career change (the oldest guy in his training class) while working another job at the same time as his training. He would train all day, come home and study, do his other job, take care of us and start all over the next day. Watching him never give up and never complain has helped me in my fight against my cancer. 'Whatever it takes' is the motto that my dad has passed down to me. When he puts his mind to it, my father has to finish whatever he has started. Quitting and giving up is never an option for him. While my dad was going through his training to become a firefighter, my cancer came back. There have been many months of treatment and hospital stays, but I know because of my dad’s example and having him at my side that I will never give up, I will fight hard and do whatever it takes.”
In order to help the family with medical expenses, firefighters from neighboring Cobb County recently sold wallets that were handmade by the Droke family at the Metro Atlanta Firefighters Conference (MAFFC). Representatives from the conference and Battalion Chiefs from the Cobb County Fire Department stopped by Station #1 on Wednesday night and presented the proceeds from the sale that totaled over $3,200.
Firefighters from all over the country have sent short videos to Logan encouraging him to stay strong. According to Lt. Brady Cornelison, a Cherokee County firefighter at Station #1, “He (Logan) has had get well wishes from fire departments throughout the state, plus, he has also heard from departments in Las Vegas, Florida, Texas and New Jersey, too.”
Cornelison also started a Go Fund Me account to help the Droke family with medical expenses. If you would like to help the family, please go to www.gofundme.com and search for “The Droke Family” in order to make a donation.
Logan is currently in Scottish Rite Hospital, however, he plans to attend his high school graduation next Friday night at Woodstock First Baptist Church.