BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some Baton Rouge firefighters are behind an effort to raise money for a hair stylist who was a flood victim in the historic 2016 August flood and found out he had ALS around that time.
John Everett Dupre lost his fine motor skills and his hands struggled to style at his O'Neal Lane hair salon. The flood wiped out the building. Dupre says because he was self-employed, he has no disability policy, nothing to pay for the constant demand for treatments and equipment to deal with the handicaps that are rolling in.
Dupre says he's living in a FEMA trailer and frankly sees no way he can earn money so he and his wife can move to a home again. "I have pain in both calves and in my arms. I cannot pull something down off a shelf. I'm so weak, it's not possible," he said.
Dupre's late brother, Matt, had close friends on his job. Matt was a Baton Rouge firefighter, driver of Rescue 93, when he died in 2011. Firefighter Brad Kelley says he had known Matt since they both went to fire training school. "His friends swore to him they would care for Matt's father and brother, John," said Kelley. So six years later, a Baton Rouge fire crew's band of brothers is holding a raffle to help Dupre as he struggles with ALS.
Dupre's 83-year-old father has been struggling to raise money. Raffle tickets are currently on sale at both branches of the Baton Rouge Fire Department Federal Credit union at headquarters on Merle Gustafson Drive and at the office on 11123 Boardwalk Dr. Kelley says they are seeking a Walmart storefront where they can set up a table and sell $5 tickets for a chance to win a $250 Walmart gift card. Their Baton Rouge Fire Prevention Facebook page says that they will sell 300 tickets and when they hit 300, they will hold the drawing.
If you'd like to make a donation to help Dupre, there is a fund at the Fire Department Credit Union. Ask them to deposit your donation into account #7784.