CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - It's been a tough year for Cherokee County firefighter Randall Droke, but he's carrying on with his son's legacy.
Droke lost his son, 17-year-old Logan Droke, to leukemia in June.
"That was a pretty big blow because you never imagine your kid will get cancer," Droke said.
Droke and his family sat down with FOX 5 in their first interview since the teen's passing. Logan fought cancer off and on for years. And in the months preceding his death, his family received support and well wishes from firefighters all across the country.
Droke said that support from his fellow firefighters and the surrounding community meant everything. FOX 5 followed Logan's story for months. Cherokee County firefighters helped the family throughout the process with well wishes and support. Sandy Springs Firefighters visited Logan in the hospital, making him an honorary firefighter. Video of the visit went viral. The Creekview High School student was part of the school's explorer program, which focuses on careers in fire service.
Logan's mother, Veronique Lindell-Droke, told FOX 5 the family was fearful as her son grew more ill. At times, she felt helpless.
"You're supposed to be the one who can make everything better. And it got to the point we couldn't do that. It scared us," Lindell-Droke recounted.
One of the teen's final wishes was to walk in his high school's graduation. But he had to focus on his treatment. Randall Droke walked for his son in the ceremony, which was attended by several Cherokee County and Cobb County firefighters.
Logan leaves behind three siblings, Emilee Droke, Merrick Lindell-Droke and Slater Lindell, who love their big brother deeply.
"He was really a big hero to all of us," Merrick Lindell-Droke said. They remember their brother as smart, fun-loving and always willing to help others despite his condition.
Randall Droke is carrying on his son's legacy of persevering amid challenges.
"He always had a smile, nothing could get him down," Droke said. "And when he did get down, he was very good at letting you know and trying to work through it."