CORDELE — Keeping the faith.
That’s what veteran Crisp County Sheriff Donnie Haralson says he’s doing as he continues the gallant battle he’s fought for almost a decade now against the dreaded “big C” — cancer.
“I’m doing pretty good, hanging in there,” said Haralson who is about to start another round of radiation. “It’s the same renal cell cancer I’ve been battling for nine years now.
“In changing up treatment about once every year, I’ve been to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., the Sara Cannon Clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and now Phoebe Putney in Albany.
“It’s also been really nice to have a good hometown hospital like the one we do in Crisp Regional where all the personnel have been really nice to me.”
Asked about his current state of health, Haralson said he feels “pretty good, but with cancer you never know how long that might last. That part is just up to the Lord.
“For now, I’m going through one of those spells where I’m needing the treatment that enables me to keep fighting back. In fact, I’ll probably start working part time within the next week or two and then try to go back at it full time the good Lord willing.”
Currently at home after recent stays in hospitals here and in Albany, Haralson said his office is being run very efficiently during his absence under the guidance of Chief Deputy Billy Hancock.
“I have a (communications) radio with me and stay in contact with the office every day. I also have the utmost confidence in my staff as all of our men and women employees are very dedicated and do a great job.”
The same can be said about the sheriff himself who says that whether he’s present in his office or not his main goal is “to do my job and make sure our citizens continue to get the kind of service and protection they have become accustomed to and deserve.”
Engaged in local law enforcement for 35 years, Haralson’s love of the profession is understandable in that he inherited it from his father, the late W.R. Haralson who died in the line of duty at age 50.
He and Georgia State Patrol Trooper James Young, were both slain in May, 1975, inside Cordele Police Department headquarters by a Marine Corps sergeant whose brother had been stopped by the trooper for a traffic violation.
“It (law enforcement) is just in my blood,” the sheriff said. “I love it and love serving the people. I’m humbled both by the fact I’ve been able to do so and that they in return have elected me sheriff seven times (no other holder of the office has held the office for more than three terms).
“As things presently stand, I’m going to keep fighting the fight, running the race and — most of all — keeping the faith. Hopefully, the people here will do the same and will continue to lift up all the prayers they’ve been saying on my behalf.”