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Vt. State Police rally around fellow trooper fighting for life

October 26, 2016 GMT

ST. ALBANS, Vt. -

After years of serving the country and Vermont, a trooper is in for the battle of his life.

A flag football tournament and 5K run honored a state trooper that died last year takes on a new meaning.

The green and gold are rallying around one of their own who’s facing a devastating diagnosis.

“I had the guy ready to go, and I went to reach into my handcuffs and there was just nothing there,” said Trooper Dan Marcellus.

Marcellus thought he was dealing with stress. He was becoming forgetful.

“I did notice things. I think he noticed it before I did,” said Jessica Lockerby, Marcellus’ fiancé.

Tuesday in St. Albans, flanked by his 28-week pregnant fiancé, Marcellus said he went to the doctor for an MRI and stress test and everything changed.

“I guess my first thought was just about him and the baby coming and everything that we’ve kind of talked about and had plans,” said Lockerby.

Last week, a doctor told this army vet and veteran trooper he had brain cancer. He was rushed to the emergency room for a biopsy. The news was not good.

Reporter Alex Apple: How old are you? You just never expect this kind of thing.

Marcellus: Nope, nope. It’s just one of those things you have to just grin it and bear it.

The tumor is too big to operate on.

“Six weeks of chemo and radiation,” said Marcellus. “One week on and three weeks off. One week on and three weeks off and that’s going to be for a year.”

Just a year ago, Marcellus was playing flag football supporting the family of another trooper, Kyle Young, who died while training for the elite tactical team.

The Kyle Young Flag Football tournament and 5K Fun Run is back on Saturday. He would not miss it, but this time, his brothers and sisters with the State Police have his back.

“When something happens to one, it happens to everybody,” said Marcellus. “It’s just the way it is.”

It all puts life in perspective. Time with his fiancé, with his friends, each day is all precious.

“Spending time with these guys. I’m going to do that. I want to do that,” said Marcellus.

Marcellus is fighting, but this time not for his country or Vermont, but fighting for life and the family he loves.

The 5K and football tournament are this Saturday in St. Albans. 14th Star Brewery is helping to organize the event. You can show up to run Saturday morning but need to plan ahead to get a football team together.

Click here for more information.