CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati firefighter is running 48 hours this week to raise money for the medical bills of local philanthropist and former host of FOX19′s Club Nineteen Michael Flannery as he battles a serious case of COVID-19.
Firefighter Sean Smith began running Monday morning to help his friend, who has spent the past two weeks at Good Samaritan Hospital and was intubated twice, according to a flyer for the event.
“Once released, Michael will not go home but instead be transferred to a local rehabilitation center where he will learn to walk once again,” the flyer states.
When Smith had to pick a cause to raise money for this challenge, he chose Flannery’s family.
Smith was asked on his Facebook post where he planned to run.
He responded it would mostly be on his treadmill, but he may use an outdoor track at one point as well.
Flannery, who is still in the hospital, was overwhelmed when he heard about Sean’s effort.
“I cried,” Flannery said. “Still emotional today was overwhelmed by the support from Sean and the community. And it’s, it’s touching. Really. He’s doing that. To help my family.”
Flannery’s battle against the COVID-19 has included two stints on a ventilator.
“Last couple days have been tough,” Flannery said. “This is, you know, yeah, I’m here. How tough can it be? No, I’m not gonna sit here and whine. I’ve had four different doctors, the fourth one today. Tell me that they didn’t expect to see me at this point. So yeah, I’m having a dang good day.”
Flannery hosted Club Nineteen from 1990 to 1995, which included jokes, cartoons, and letters from viewers.
He was also an anchor of WCPO’s “9 on Your Kid’s Side” television show.
Flannery is currently the Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Public Information Officer, where he helps out many in need.
He is an advocate for individuals with disabilities, as his daughter has Down syndrome.
If you want to contribute to “Flannery’s donate to Sean’s Challenge,” you can visit a PayPal account set up or Venmo: @S2queencity
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