Fish fry generates $11,000 for Bossier deputy battling cancer

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Pictured left to right; Sheriff Julian Whittington, Mary Kerry, Kim Flournoy, and Kesha Harris.

A fish fry fundraiser held to support cancer patient Sgt. Barrett Lovell of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office raised $11,167.89.

“I am amazed at the support for Barrett and the generosity of complete strangers to support him in the battle for his life,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington.  “It’s pretty incredible to see such support, and this is a huge way to tell Barrett we’re thinking of him, we’re praying for him, and we’re looking forward to him coming back to work.  It makes you feel real proud to live here.”

Individuals, businesses, schools and organizations donated $10 for the fish plates, which were prepared by Alan Davidson of Magnolia Catering, who happens to be a fellow deputy with Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office supporting the cause.  The donations comprised more than $7,000 in proceeds from the selling of 1,038 fish plates and another $4,100 in donations.  Local attorney Ryan Gatti was one of those donors, who presented Sheriff Whittington with a check for $1,000 for Barrett, whom Gatti befriended when he and Barrett were fellow softball coaches.  

Barrett, 33, who works at the Bossier Maximum Security Facility, has undergone chemotherapy treatments at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston over the past few months.  On March 2, he received a much-needed cord blood transplant.  He is expected to remain in Houston for the next couple of months while his health is being monitored, and the fish fry fundraiser was a way to help defray unexpected living and additional expenses.

Brian Allison with Be the Match was also at the fish fry encouraging people to register to become a donor to help save someone else’s life… like 11-year-old Helen who has received 27 blood transfusions  during her two-year battle with cancer.  She has been following Barrett’s journey, and when she heard he was not feeling well and didn’t want to get out of bed after his cord blood transplant last month, she sent him a video message to say “Never ever, ever give up.  You have to get out of that bed,” Helen encouraged Barrett.  “Do it for the ones who love you and admire you.”

Barrett heeded the advice from this brave little girl, and within 30 minutes, he was up and about.  

Young Helen is also helping Lifeshare Blood Centers, which has conducted blood drives in honor of Barrett, with their campaign “Give for Good 2015” on May 5 to help them purchase a new bus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85SlrissVQ.

Sheriff Whittington spoke with Helen to tell her how proud he was of her and the impact she has on him, Barrett and all others battling cancer.

“She may never realize how important that message was for Barrett,” he said.  “But it goes to show you whether the blessings are financial like today’s fish fry or by words of encouragement from young Helen, they make a world of difference.

“Barrett, get well soon, we’re praying for you, and we look forward to seeing you back here at the Sheriff’s Office.”