Laurel County rallying around ill state trooper

LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) – It is news no one wants to hear, but in March Jason Vanhook learned that he had leukemia.

“He’s a great trooper..a great father. Does well with his community. All the time helping out with other troopers with things,” said Trooper Lloyd Cochran about the trooper he graduated the state police academy with and has worked alongside at Post 11 in London.

The nine-year law enforcement veteran was soon on mandatory leave from the job he loves and on a chemotherapy schedule that requires frequent trips from his home in London.

“He travels to Lexington a lot for support he is getting has helped him out substantially,” said Cochran.

That support has come from T-shirt sales, gospel sings, fishing tournaments and this weekend runners and walkers will turn out for the “Team Vanhook” 5K and one mile fun walk.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of community support for Trooper Vanhook’s family. Overhelming support," said Cochran.

The community recently had a blood drive that was so successful, donors were turned away. So they had a second one shortly afterwards.

“There’s people supporting trooper Vanhook that he doesn’t even know,” said Cochran.

Saturday’s race starts at 8:30 a.m. with registration at 7:30 a.m. Entry fees are $30 with everything going to his family.

“The traveling expenses start to pile up. He’s not been working. It helps them tremendously,” said Cochran.

Leukemia has struck a blow to the Vanhook family but his wife says their community in "Team Vanhook" is striking back.

Vanhook’s wife says her husband is making some improvements and is currently waiting on bone marrow treatments.

Despite his condition, she also says he has still been able to take part in coaching his son’s little league baseball team and sometimes goes straight from chemo to practice.