Local doctor receives top honor from W.Va. - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local doctor receives top honor from W.Va.

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BECKLEY (WVVA) -- A special delivery was made to Beckley Thursday.  Dr. Donald Rasmussen now has another award under his belt, "Honorary West Virginian -- " an award granted from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.

Dr. Rasmussen has been working for 50 years helping coal miners fight numerous battles against black lung disease, from coping to workers' compensation.

"He's just number one to the coal miner," says Terry Lilly, a former coal miner at Upper Big Branch Mine and patient of Dr. Rasmussen.

Through his work in the medical field, the Colorado-born Rasmussen found black lung disease can be detected not only through x-rays, but also blood samples during exercise.  At 85-years-old, he says he's still working because he wants to help the miners.

"I think they're solid, good citizens.  You don't spend 20 or 30 years stooping around and crawling in mud and water and dust unless you've got some guts," says Rasmussen. 

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