Outpouring of community support for HCSO deputy with cancer

Larry Morrell in law enforcement 38 years
Posted at 10:42 PM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-04 00:23:00-05
A wealth of support is being shown to longtime Hillsborough County Deputy Larry Morrell, who was recently diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
Deputy Morrell finds himself getting more emotional these days.
"In law enforcement, you control your emotions but I can't control them here.  Just from the love the community's giving because I had no idea about, that they cared about me," said Morrell.
Morrell is a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and is now stunned by how many people in the community are supporting him in the fight of his life.
"You know, gee whiz, who am I?"  Morrell said.
In October, he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, just weeks before he was set to retire after 38 years in law enforcement.  Cancer has now opened his eyes to how many lives he's touched.
"You don't know, especially in this job, of the people that you affect. The amount of appreciation now, all the love and prayers, that's what got me.  I just had no idea," said Morrell.
His wife is a local elementary teacher, recently recovering from her own health challenges.  A parent of one of her students helped organize a four-day carnival in Valrico with proceeds going to the Morrell family.
"A heartfelt thank you and my grateful appreciation," Morrell said.
From tubing in some fake snow, to tons of carnival ride, and performances by the famous Wallenda family, hundreds have come out to show their unwavering support this weekend.
"It's an honor to be able to come do this for somebody like the deputy because of all the year's he's spent protecting all of us," said performer Carla Wallenda.
It's also personal for Wallenda, whose husband was just diagnosed with cancer last week.
Those enjoying the carnival are hoping for a packed house on the event's final night Sunday and are already talking about making this an annual event to benefit those in need.
"I am so blessed," said Morrell.
If you'd like to help the Morrell family, the carnival runs tomorrow from Noon to 10 next to Foundation Christian Academy, 3949 Lithia Pinecrest Road .  There's also a Go Fund Me page where you can donate.