How former Big 22 standout’s bumper is helping Florida firefighter battling cancer

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A Florida firefighter battling Stage 4 lung cancer is getting help from an unlikely source -- a former Big 22 football standout from Caldwell County.

Landon Dickerson is anything if not resourceful. While getting towed to the body shop, the bumper on his pickup truck was ripped off. He replaced it with a $15 railroad tie he found at Lowe’s -- and an Alabama Crimson Tide legend was born.

“One of my teammates put it out on social media, ‘Look at this country dude, man,’ and everybody kind of fell in love with it,” Dickerson said.

The bumper was an anthropomorphic representation of Dickerson’s football career -- a rough-around-the-edges exterior giving way to creativity, ingenuity and a little bit of fun.

“I’ve been shocked by the amount of reaction, the kind of interest I’ve gotten from it,” he said.

Now Dickerson is turning that interest into action. That bumper, signed by some of his National Championship-winning teammates, is the most coveted prize in a raffle that will raise money for Brian Wolnewitz -- a Florida firefighter battling Stage 4 lung cancer.

Dickerson became aware of Wolnewitz’s situation through a Crimson Tide assistant during Alabama’s stay in Miami ahead of the National Championship game.

He said he knew immediately that he wanted to help.

“My dad was fire and rescue for 30 years. My mom’s been in nursing pretty much her whole life. We have a history of cancer in my family,” Dickerson told Channel 9.

He will raffle off the bumper and a signed helmet, with proceeds going to help pay for Wolnewitz’s travel from Miami to Houston for treatment.

Even before the NFL checks start coming in for Dickerson, he wanted to answer the call from his head coach Nick Saban, who once asked, “Are you blessed? Or are you a blessing?”

“I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to play college football. To accomplish the goals (of winning) a National Championship. To hopefully have a future playing professional football,” Dickerson said. “The fact that I’m in great position right now in my life and I can give back to other people, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Click here to enter the raffle. Tickets are $25 apiece.