Pelham veteran battling for his life

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

For the past two weeks, Blount has been at MD Anderson while doctors have performed a battery of tests on him to determine his treatment options.

“Right now, we are trying to see what else can be done. Today, we got news that there are options for them to work on me,” Blount said. “All in all, this was not a wasted trip.”

When Blount flew to Houston from the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, a group of local veterans gathered at the airport to give him a ceremonious sendoff and fund the family’s airline expenses.

The scene was the same at the airport the morning of Jan. 26, as a crowd of local veterans and supporters welcomed Blount and his family back to Birmingham.

Pelham native Matthew Blount, a U.S. Army veteran, greets his mother, Terrie Blount, after arriving at the Birmingham Airport on Jan. 26. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Since learning about Blount’s battle with cancer and leukemia, several military support organizations, including the Blue Star Salute, Disabled American Veterans and the St. Clair County-based Military Assistance Personnel Support, have banded together to help plan a fundraiser to help Blount’s family with the expenses related to the disease.

Montevallo resident Tonya Harrelson, who runs a military greeting card ministry and is working to organize the fundraiser, said the event tentatively is set for March 2. Because Blount is interested in motorcycles, Harrelson said the fundraiser could be a motorcycle rally.

“We really just started planning it last Friday (Jan. 20),” Harrelson said, noting organizers are working on booking vendors, musicians and food vendors for the event. “Our major hurdle right now is finding a location. The contacts I’ve made have told me there could be 1,000 people from all over the country there.”