“I gotta be here to protect these children,” Man battling cancer on a mission

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MOORE, Okla. - Gerald Carney is on a mission and has been for a number of years.

Every day, he makes sure the children of Briarwood Elementary make it to school safely.

However, he does more than stop traffic as a crossing guard on 19th St. in Moore.

He always has a friendly word or two for the youngsters and he gets to know them and their families.

That’s why Amanda Pham nominated him for Pay It Forward.

Pham is not only a mother of students at Briarwood but also a physician’s assistant.

"When I was dropping my kids off one day about four years ago, I was told that Mr. Carney had passed out.  I was told at that time he didn't have a heartbeat,” said Pham.  “So, I ran to see how he was and he initially did not respond, and then I felt for a pulse in his neck and I realized his neck was full of tumors. He woke up and informed me he had been battling mouth, throat and neck cancer and was currently under treatment and was very weak from the treatment. Yet, he was still doing the crossing guard safety for our kids. And since then, he has been a great part of the community and the school and he loves the children so very much.”

David Feisal of Spirit Bank gave Amanda the $400  Pay It Forward cash and then we went to surprise Carney.

He couldn’t believe it.

With tears in his eyes, Carney said, “Thank you very much. It’s a surprise, I’ll tell ya. I love ‘em all.”

His motivation for dealing with his own challenges and still volunteering for the school is simple.

"For the children.  This intersection here, people just don't slow down through here. I gotta be here to protect these children, to get ‘em across the street safe."

Paying it forward, one crossing at a time.

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