Community rallies around Perry County sheriff battling cancer - WSMV News 4

Community rallies around Perry County sheriff battling cancer

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Perry County Sheriff Tommy Hickerson is battling cancer. Perry County Sheriff Tommy Hickerson is battling cancer.
LINDEN, TN (WSMV) -

A man who spent his career fighting to keep people safe is now fighting for his own life.

Perry County Sheriff Tommy Hickerson’s chair has sat empty for months.

“To look over there and see him not there, it’s tough at time,” said Chief Deputy Nick Weems with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.

Doctors first diagnosed Hickerson with colon cancer in March of 2013. He has now been diagnosed with acute leukemia.

Doctors say Hickerson’s heart is too weak to handle regular treatment. Instead, they’re using an experimental treatment that will require him to stay in an apartment close to Vanderbilt for at least three months.

“I imagine it’s a struggle, because he has a large family,” Weems said. “He raises two granddaughters who belong to his son that’s deceased. He’s a cornerstone for his family. They need him bad.”

Hickerson worked for the department of correction for 38 years. He has served as sheriff since 2010. Weems said he is a leader not just when it comes to catching criminals, but rehabilitating them.

“He’s identified what their skill set is, helped them get started in the jail,” Weems said. “Whenever they’re released, they’ll go out and find a job doing what he taught them to do.

“It says something for the man whenever I have inmates come up to me and say, ‘Hey, if you talk to the sheriff, let him know that we’re praying for him,’” Weems added.

Perry County residents are planning a benefit to help Hickerson recover. They are hoping people across the Midstate will rally to his cause.

“He’s not a quitter,” Weems said. “He don’t give up, and he’s not giving up this time. He’s holding onto faith, just like all of his employees are holding onto faith with him, that he’s going to be back. He will come back to work.”

The benefit for Hickerson will be held Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Linden Community Center. Donations can also be sent to the Perry County Sheriff’s Office at 582 Bethel Road, Linden, TN, 37096. Checks should be made out to the benefit for Tommy Hickerson.

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