I want to thank everyone who responded to last week’s column regarding our Awards Ceremony, especially our recognizing those who have passed due to breast cancer. Below is a beautiful compelling letter of one who has experienced the “Fight” and surviving the “War” and “Wining” the battle. These also are “Heroes” and will be recognized at our event. Thank you to those who have stepped up to the plate with donations and sponsorships.
I read yesterday’s Herald article “Crime Watch to present, accept awards” and felt compelled to write you a quick note. As we remember our law enforcement women that have died as a result of breast cancer, I urge you to remember those who have survived and continue the fight every day.
My wife, Isabel, who is an officer currently assigned to the Special Patrol Bureau, was diagnosed in late 2012 with one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer known. As a husband and father of a newborn at the time, I can tell you in all honesty that it was the most difficult experience I have ever known. For my wife, having constantly been on top of her check-ups and care, it was both shocking and devastating. But from the start and at her urging, we placed all our trust in God. Isabel faced the rigors of treatment with a tenacity and determination I had never seen while all the time continuing a sense of normalcy at home with our family. Rarely was there a complaint or hesitation on her part despite the obvious pain and discomfort that came with the process of fighting back. In truth, she simply redefined the meaning of the word courage for me and continues to do so every day as she moves ahead with her recovery.
As our situation became known, I was shocked to see how many women (and their families) in our agency had been impacted by breast cancer. Although we have lost many of our officers along the way, there are others who, like my wife, continue to forge ahead as survivors. Some wish to remain in obscurity, others have stepped out of the shadows to become role models and mentors to those receiving a recent diagnosis. But ALL are heroes in the truest sense of the word as they continue to represent our profession, as difficult as it may be at times, while bearing both the emotional and physical scars of this disease with dignity, pride, and above all else, courage. I encourage you to recognize and salute each and every one of them as we also take the time to remember those we have lost as well.
Additionally, I ask that you encourage all women to be proactive in their check-ups and exams. Had it not been for Isabel’s persistence and self-initiative, any delay may have been costly beyond measure. Again, God bless them and thank you for all you do.