Wife: Briggs battling rare form of cancer, depression

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When police told family members of the outcome of Tuesday’s standoff between a suicidal Gulf War veteran and law enforcement, a resounding “Thank God. He’s alive,” was heard.

Family members at the scene said the veteran, identified as 37-year-old Adolph Briggs Jr., is battling depression and a rare cancer of the appendix and stomach called, “PMP,” or pseudomyxoma peritonei. Statistics show that 1 in 1 million people in the U.S. are affected by the disease.

Throughout the ordeal, prayers of, “God, please make everything all right,” were made by family members.

Briggs’ wife of eight years, Latrice, said her husband served in the Marines from 1992-2000 – a time that also included a tour in the first Gulf War. She said the cancer was found when her husband suffered a ruptured appendix in 2005.

Mrs. Briggs said her husband currently receives VA disability benefits; however, last June, the VA stopped paying for specialized cancer treatment in Montgomery. Now, the family has to travel to Atlanta to receive the same treatment, she said.

“I know all this, (on Tuesday), is because things got to be too much for him. He got overwhelmed,” she said. “He’ll have to have treatments for the rest of his life.

“We’ve got to pay our bills with his disability, but what about gas to and from his treatments? There’s not enough to cover it all,” she said.

“If there’s anything I want people to know about this whole ordeal, it’s that the VA needs to take care of its vets.”

Briggs was transported from the couple’s Johnson Street home to Andalusia Regional Hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.