Veteran with cancer selling baseball card collection to pay bills

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ARVADA, Colo. -- A local Iraq war veteran was dealt a tough hand when he was diagnosed with cancer in March. With the medical costs adding up, he’s now selling his baseball card collection to try to pay the bills.

Arvada native Brad Solomon enlisted in the Army at 18 and was fighting in Iraq when he was 20. In March, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a blood cancer that was already at Stage 4 and was almost 100 percent throughout his body.

“It’s been tough,” Solomon said. “I don’t wish this upon my worst enemy. It’s awful. Four blood transfusions, multiple operations.”

Solomon had to drop out of school and can’t work, so the bills are quickly adding up.

“We’ve been reaching out to all of these organizations for months now,” he said. “Ever since I was diagnosed and we can’t find help anywhere. And then you’ve got all these people who I’ve never met before that has come by and help donate. It’s just amazing.”

His girlfriend of eight years, Elyse Orton, is trying to keep a job but spends most of her time taking care of Solomon.

“We’ve been through a lot together and this is definitely on top of the list,” Orton said. “At 29 years old, we’ve had a lot thrown at us.”

So to pay the bills, Solomon had to start selling.

“I realized that I can’t be spending any more money on cards because I’ve got to start making money,” he said. “I don’t have any income right now, so I’ve got to try and make ends meet.”

Thanks to an incredible favor from the owner of Mike’s Stadium Sports Cards in Aurora, Michael Fruitman, Solomon had some customers stop by over the weekend.

“When they asked if they could set up in front of the store, that’s not an imposition,” Fruitman said. “It’s an honor to be able to help them out.”

Solomon has thousands of baseball cards to sell, but you might have a tough time getting his Colorado Rockies.

“Die-hard Colorado Rockies fan. Go Rockies!” he said.

If you want to help Solomon by donating, his family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with his bills.

Or you can go check out his collection and buy some baseball cards. He said he’s having a big sale in front of Mike’s Stadium Sports Cards at 4022 S. Parker Road on Aug. 1.

FOX31 Denver's Drew Engelbart wrote and contributed to this report.