GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport police officer diagnosed with stage four colon cancer has a community rallying behind him. As Sgt. Davy Kirkland fights for his life, his friends and coworkers don't want him to worry about his family's finances, so they're stepping in to help.
Kirkland's wife, Audrey, remembers the day their world turned upside down.
"August 2nd, he started having right lower side pain. I figured it was appendicitis. The next morning he went in and had surgery and they found that he had colon cancer," she recalled. "I didn't know what to think. I was in shock."
That day, the doctors removed 18 inches of Kirkland's colon, nine lymph nodes, and two tumors. He is about to start six months of chemotherapy.
"Davy has survived earthquakes in Kosovo, Hurricane Katrina, house fires, tornadoes. So, he's going to survive this. He's a fighter. He has a great personality and attitude and that hasn't even changed," Audrey Kirkland said.
"You can second guess things that have happened and what not. I mean, how many times in my life have I said 'I wish' something? You know, I wish that had happened to me instead of them?" Davy Kirkland asked.
"The thing that you have to remember about Davy is that if you ever have a problem or you ever need anything, Davy was the first one to help," said Commander Chris Loposser, who has worked with Kirkland for nearly eight years.
"His first assignment, he acted as an undercover officer producing 150 street level narcotics cases right out the gate. So from the get go, Davy's been a huge asset for us."
Kirkland has five children: four girls and one boy. His friends want Kirkland to know his family is being cared for during this difficult time.
"We're trying to get to where Davy doesn't have so much to worry about. He can focus on getting better," said Loposser.
You can keep up with Davy Kirkland's fight and offer your support through Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prayingfordavy
To make a contribution to the fundraising effort, visit: http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=7844&url=teamdavydominatingcoloncancer
"We have been overwhelmed at the love and support that has been shown," said Audrey Kirkland.
And it's that support, the Kirklands say, that will help him win this battle against cancer.