University Hospital gets cancer bell

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SAN ANTONIO -- When 12-year-old cancer survivor Damon Billeck's chemo treatments were finally over, he told his dad about something he wanted to do for kids like him at University Hospital.

"My nurses came in with an Easter basket of little goodies and stuff, and I was like, 'we should do something just like that'," Damon said.

Instead of candy baskets, Damon wanted to get a bell for kids to ring when they finished treatment. He's become close with some San Antonio firefighters, so the bell had to come from an old-school fire truck.

"Then you know it's not like a bell that you just went to the store and bought," Damon said. "It's a bell they actually used back in the day, so it's like a lot more special and it has a lot more meaning to it."

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The bell came from the San Antonio Fire Museum, and its stand was built by hand at Station 11. SAFD Chief Charles Hood said the bell means as much to the firefighters as it does to Damon.

"We have several firefighters in our community that have either died of cancer or been stricken with cancer," said Hood. "This is also going to serve as a memorial for them and their service."