Alabama officer battling cancer gets show of support from the community he serves

Community supports officer battling cancer
Community supports officer battling cancer 01:54

Pleasant Grove, Alabama — Officer Jeff Gulley's stomach ache back in January pulled his life to a stop. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

"You think, I'm a dead man" Gulley said.

In Pleasant Grove, Alabama, Lieutenant Danny Reid said Gulley's fellow cops felt it in their gut, too.

"It hits you hard when you hear, like this, one of your family members is sick," Reid said.

The 56-year-old career cop put his faith in chemo, prayer, and positive energy toward everyone. 

"It's definitely got me closer to my maker. God looks after fools, police and babies. I qualify for two," Gulley said.

He will have a 10-hour abdominal surgery Friday in Kentucky. To pay for his family to make the trip, Reid started selling blue wristbands for $5. Each one has Gulley's badge number, 3-6-8. 

"It represents police brotherhood and that we're thinking about him. He's not alone," Reid said. 

Hundreds of people in the community bought one and they raised $2,580. But what means more to Gulley, it's as though everyone discovered the person inside his uniform all along.

Blue wristbands for Officer Jeff Gulley. CBS News
  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.