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Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Takes on New Meaning

The annual competition for police and fire departments gets extra incentive from an officer's son who faces a battle for his life.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Every year police and fire departments across the state compete in Battle of the Badges blood drives.

But this year in North Little Rock, it's taking on a new meaning after an officer's son faces a battle for his life.

"He started out having headaches," explained Jill Chamness.

At 23-months-old, Zach Chamness' parents were worried something was wrong.

"Started walking a little bit off," said Jill.

Last October Steve and Jill Chamness took their son in for an MRI and got devastating news.

"As a parent, you never ever want to hear the words that your son has a tumor and that it is Stage 4, you know of aggressive malignant cancer," said Sergeant Steve Chamness.

The next day Zach had surgery to remove the tumor, but that was just the beginning.

"He did have cells beginning to pool at the bottom of his spine," dad Steve explained.

Zach received three rounds of high dose chemotherapy and three stem cell transplants. He'd spend months at a time at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

"The North Little Rock Police Department (NLRPD) has been unbelievable to me. What they have done for my family can never be repaid," said Steve.

Steve Chamness is a sergeant at the department. When Zach got sick, fellow officers donated their vacation time so he could be with his son.

"I can't put into words what that means to me and what it's been for my family," said Steve.

This week, NLRPD officers and firefighters are holding a Battle of the Badges blood drive in honor of Zach, who needed more than 50 blood transfusions during his treatment.

"We have seen first hand the importance of giving blood," said Steve.

Zach is back home, battling a different kind of monster, he still has a feeding tube and awaits radiation treatment.

But thanks to an outpouring of love..."You see God moving through him and using him as an example and inspiring people,"...this family is moving forward stronger than ever.
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