Dallas, New York firefighters play ball for toddler with liver cancer

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 26 at 8:11 PM

DALLAS - Members of Dallas Fire-Rescue are rallying together to raise money for a firefighter’s sick child.

Dyrk Burcie, 3, is fighting Stage IV liver cancer that has spread to his lungs. He was diagnosed in March after his parents discovered a lump on his stomach during a bath.

“He’s incredibly sick,” said Shelley Burcie, the toddler's mother. “His days are very limited unless we can find a cure.”

As his doctors search for a cure, the family has continued to be hit with setbacks. Dyrk is not responding to chemotherapy and relies on a feeding tube. He will eventually need a liver transplant.

“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,” said Dameon Burcie, Dyrk's father.

Mr. Burcie is a lieutenant with Dallas Fire-Rescue. When news of Dyrk’s illness spread to the station, firefighters across the city to decided to help.

“We’re always helping others, why not help one of our own that needs it?” said firefighter Jonathan Rodriguez. 

He and other members of the department’s “Heat” baseball team decided to throw a charity double-header game to raise money for Dyrk’s mounting medical bills, which are well into the six figures.

Rodriguez said the young boy is just a "little man that needs to live his life."

"So, why not give him that opportunity and why not take the stress off his parents at the same time?” he said.

The RoughRiders minor league baseball team donated the use of their Frisco stadium Sunday for the game, as well as part of their ticket sales of some future games.

Dallas contacted the New York Police Department’s team, who agreed to fly in at their own expense to compete in the game.

“This shows me that there really are a lot of people out there that still care,” Mr. Burcie said.

The game will be at 1 p.m. on June 26 at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. Tickers are free and donations along with food and drink sales benefit the family.

Donations can also by made in the name of the Dyrk R. Burcie Trust at any Wells Fargo bank.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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