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Cancer Patient Called 911 for Surprising Reason. The Operator’s Response Was Perfect.

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Clarence Blackmon, 81, is a cancer patient and veteran from Fayetteville, North Carolina. After being released from a cancer treatment and rehabilitation center on May 12, Blackmon went home to find no food in his house, WTVD News reported. Hungry and unable to move, he called 911 for help.

I can’t do anything,” he told 911 operator Marilyn Hinson, according to WTVD News. “I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair.”

Hinson then went to the store and bought groceries for the elderly man and later delivered them with help from local police officers. Although 911 operators typically do not offer direct assistance to callers, she was moved by his story.

Blackmon was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, The Huffington Post reported. His doctor recently told him he doesn’t have much time left.

He says maybe another six months,” Blackmon told the outlet. “But he doesn’t know and I don’t know. Only God knows and I thank God I’m still here.”

Since local news stations began reporting his story, Blackmon has received an outpouring of support from the community, WTVD News reported. People have been calling to donate food and offering to volunteer their time.

“We had numerous calls, emails, folks calling us directly, calling the call center, calling 911 saying, ‘How can we help Mr. Blackmon?‘” Fayetteville Officer Antoine Kincade told the outlet.

Blackmon’s once empty shelves are now overflowing with food.


To offer a donation or to volunteer, contact the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1529.

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Originally published: May 15, 2015
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