‘I hope it blows him and his family away’: Group building fence for detective battling cancer


Neighbors, businesses and law enforcement have wrapped their arms around Detective Matt Young and his family since his cancer diagnosis.

The Wichita police officer has been battling stage four pancreatic cancer, and Saturday, Matt was able to see the community’s kindness from his own backyard.

Shoveling dirt and operating machinery is how dozens of people started and ended Saturday. Not all of them wear hard hats, but they all care about an officer and his family.

“When it comes time to get something done, we put our heads together, and we make it happen,” said Jason Gill, Gill Fencing.

“If it started pouring rain or snow, we’d still be out here,” said Detective Jason Waite, Wichita Police Department.

When officers learned Detective Matt Young was battling pancreatic cancer, they wanted to do whatever they could to help. This weekend it’s to build a cedar fence around Matt’s yard, something he’s wanted for sometime. With community support, they’re able to do it, at no cost to him.

“In two days had all of the materials completely donated and donated by other fence companies, guys that are my competitors any other day,” said Gill.

And the more than $17,000 raised online in donations for materials has gone directly to the family.

“I know he’s grateful, but I also know he wants to be out here working with us,” said Sgt. Shane Preble, Wichita Police.

Law enforcement, family, and Gill Fencing are many of the people helping make it possible, along with a friend of Matt’s from high school and law enforcement who drove miles to be here.

“He said hey Whip, we greeted each other, and hugged each other and I told him I said I drove all the way from Texas just to be here for you,” said Jason Whipple, Texas.

The fence is expected to be complete by Sunday, and those involved say they can’t wait for matt to see the result.

“To actually see it in person on your property, I hope it blows him and his family away,” said Gill.

Two local businesses also donated meals to those working on the project. And businesses like Star Lumber and Home Depot also gave towards their effort.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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