Lighting the town blue to honor a Jenison deputy battling stage 4 cancer

Posted at 10:16 PM, Nov 24, 2015

JENISON, Mich.-- Blue tree lights, blue home lights, blue spotlights are everywhere you look in Jenison.

“I was at Meijer the other night in Jenison and you can’t get blue lights. My husband had to go to Wyoming," said Lisa Uganski.

To those outside of this tightly-knit community, it may seem like blue is a popular color for decorating this holiday season.  But there’s a much deeper meaning.

Deputy Matt Chatfield is the reason for the blue overload that has taken over the small West Michigan community.

“There isn’t a more well-known person than Deputy Chatfield in Jenison," said Joe Wiltrakis, one of the many people decorating their houses in honor of Chatfield.

But it’s not just Chatfield's popularity that has the community standing behind him, it’s the struggle he is up against.

“The blue represents colon cancer awareness and so that’s the color you will see on the ribbons for Matt," said Wiltrakis.

The father of 3 and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Deputy, has been  battling stage 4 colon cancer for just over a year now.

“Matt is larger than life physically and emotionally. Matt is the kind of guy that you want on your side that you want on your team," said Wiltrakis.  “He’s so admired.  I don’t know if there’s a word to describe it, as a dad, as coach, as a friend, as a police officer.”

Lisa Uganski stands in front of a blue-lit Jenison Theatre Arts building, and she tells us Chatfield is coming home from a medical procedure in Chicago, and hasn’t seen the blue lights yet, but they are hoping he’ll be home for the holidays, and see the support shining his way.

“Our plan is to get Matt in a position where he can hopefully come home to us tomorrow, and I’m hoping on the ride home they can let him look around and see all of this support as our town is lit up.”

Volunteers decorated the Chatfield's home, so they have some blue to come home to when they get back from Chicago. If you want to get involved you can decorate your home blue, take a picture, and share it with the hashtag #blueforchatty. There's also a fund set up through Lake Michigan Credit Union, and you can make financial donations to help with medical bills.