Charity baseball game raises money for firefighter's ailing son

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on June 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 27 at 10:33 AM

FRISCO — Members of Dallas Fire-Rescue threw a charity baseball game Sunday to help the son of a colleague — three-year-old Dyrk Burcie, who is battling Stage IV liver cancer.

Hundreds cheered the department's "Heat" baseball team at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco as they played officers from the New York Police Department's baseball team.

"All the guys getting together to do this for Dyrk... it's pretty amazing," said Dameon Burcie, Dyrk's dad and a lieutenant with Dallas Fire-Rescue. "We’ll always treasure this moment."

When news of Dyrk's illness spread to the station, firefighters across the city to decided to help by throwing the charity double-header game.

"If we can get the people out, we can raise money," said organizer Scott Mills, the team's coach and a 26-year veteran of the Dallas fire department. "You just hope and pray everything will get better; you don't give up hope."

Before the game, organizers had already raised more than $3,000 towards Dyrk Burcie's rising medical bills.

Dallas contacted NYPD's team, who agreed to fly in at their own expense to compete in the game.

It was an easy decision for the New York team's manager, Jose Vazquez. The retired officer suddenly lost his 14-year-old son, Anthony, in 2003.

"Any time you mention kids to me, it hits home," Vazquez said. "I know what it's like to lose a child, and I know how painful it is. I live with that pain every day."

Dyrk's liver cancer has spread to his lungs. He was diagnosed in March after his parents discovered a lump on his stomach during a bath.

Dyrk is not responding to chemotherapy and relies on a feeding tube.

"He's incredibly sick," said his mother, Shelley Burcie. "His days are very limited unless we can find a cure."

Dyrk will eventually need a liver transplant to survive.

"As a parent, I don’t think there’s anything worse than... when you don’t know how much time you have left with your child," Dameon Burcie said.

Donations to the Dyrk R. Burcie Trust can be made at any Wells Fargo bank branch.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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