Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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October 23, 2012

Chili supper to support Indiana’s youngest firefighter

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

“Greg informed us that he was going to go ahead and get approved for the lung transplant, and we knew insurance would cover most of it, but it’s out of state,” Huff said. “I said, ‘look, they’re going to go back and forth out of town for a lot of this surgery and that’s going to be some expense. As a club, we should do a fundraiser to help offset what the insurance won’t cover.’”

Cystic fibrosis comes when both parents have, for lack of a better term, a defective gene.

“I’d never really heard of it until Brandon was diagnosed with it,” Vinson said. “Back then they weren’t really testing for it. They do a lot of testing for it now when a woman gets pregnant, but not then.”

He said his son was diagnosed when he was only 3 weeks old.

“If he doesn’t reject the lungs, I think the prognosis is better,” he said. “When he was 3 I asked the doctors about a lung transplant, but they didn’t really want to talk about it. They approached us this last time about getting it set up.”

Because fewer children need organ transplants than adults, Vinson said the expected wait is less, but in the mean time, Brandon is still battling. He recently had surgery to have a port taken out.

“Every time you see Brandon, he has a smile on his face,” he said.

Vinson says he cannot thank his fellow firefighters enough for what they’ve done.

“I don’t like asking for help,” he said. “Firefighting in itself is a brotherhood in many ways and for the Axe Men to do what they’re doing, I can’t explain how grateful I am. I’ve had calls already and people are calling and wanting tickets. Guys that have never even met Brandon before have asked me about him. It’s the best job in the world.”

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