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Friends, Family Remember Baxter VFD Member as Someone who 'Loved to Laugh'

Wednesday marks four months since a member of the Baxter Volunteer Fire Department died from cancer. The community continues to honor the memory of Paul Dolog while raising money for his family.
/ Source: WBOY-TV

Wednesday marks four months since a member of the Baxter Volunteer Fire Department died from cancer. The community continues to honor the memory of Paul Dolog while raising money for his family.

"He loved to laugh, and he loved to make people laugh. He just really wanted to help," said John Dolog, Paul's father.

It was that passion to give back that led Paul Dolog to join the Baxter Volunteer Fire Department when he was just 15 years old, and he quickly moved up the ladder.

"He was 17 when he gained his certification and passed all of his classes. That's when he started exhibiting symptoms, but he was always such a robust, strong boy that no one ever imagined he was that sick," said John.

Then, just before his 19th birthday, a diagnosis that would change everything: Paul had lymphoma.

"By the time he was diagnosed, it had spread throughout his body, and when he began the chemotherapy, he had a tumor in his lung that was too much. He couldn't breathe, so they had to perform lung surgery. He said, 'Quit crying like a big baby' and 'I love you, Dad.' Those were the last words that he spoke to me," said John.

So instead of high school graduation, it was a hero's funeral for Paul.

"Granville and Pleasant Valley, bringing their ladder trucks for his funeral, his service was outstanding," said John. "It's just that you miss out on so many memories - a wife, kids of his own."

And for John and his wife, Linda, paying for Paul's healthcare and funeral expenses is yet another heavy burden.

"We weren't able to carry life insurance on him. The fire department here has done all they could and continues to do everything they can," said John.

The Dologs are asking Paul's fellow brothers to lend a hand, just as their son would have done for anyone.

"If all the firefighters could just contribute $1, it would probably take care of it, and help to honor the memory of my son," said John.

The Baxter VFD has set up an account in Paul's memory at the BB&T Bank in Fairmont.