WE ARE FIXERS
Men are wired to fix things.
In addition, we are cops. Fixing things is what we’ve been trained to do, instinctively.
That trait in me often angers my wife. Sometimes, she just wants to run off at the mouth, complaining about this or that. But, she doesn’t want me to fix her problem. “Just listen to me,” she says.
This news is about a cop who has a serious problem. It can’t be fixed. All that any of us can do is cushion the pain. I’ve been in a knot since I learned the news:
This is about a cop named, Stephen Grogan. He is dying. He could be gone before the week is out or it may be months into the future. Only God knows.
It all began in 2017 when Officer Grogan began having severe headaches while on patrol. He was just 31 years old. He is married to the love of his life, Christina. They are both US Marine Combat Veterans (2007-2014). They have two little boys, Tristan (4) and Camden (1).
He says it never crossed his mind that it was cancer. It is Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), to be specific. It is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. It affects about 22,000 Americans each year.
“I’ve been working the whole time, did patrol for a little while, came off patrol, and I’ve been working in training and accreditation, still a police officer – just doing a different job,” Officer Grogan explained.
After brain surgery, Grogan endured multiple treatments of radiation and chemotherapy.
This father of two very young sons returned to work and was feeling good, but then cancer came calling again.
After a visit to the doctor early in January, he got the same diagnosis.
Doctors found the tumor had turned into a more aggressive one. His last MRI on 01/07/2019 showed a tumor. The new tumor is located inside his corpus callosum in both left and right hemispheres of his brain. He has been given a diagnosis of less than a year.
Because of the location of the tumor, he is not eligible for surgery and now has to depend on a clinical trial to save his life.
“Life expectancy, it’s a big shrug of the shoulders when it comes to a recurrence because it may happen in a couple weeks, it may happen in a year, but it is almost one hundred percent fatal,” Grogan added.
Stephen says while this battle is personal, making it public is part of fighting back.
“I beat the statistic so far, I’m very hard to kill,” Grogan said.
And he’s not alone in his fight. He has faith, his blood family and his family in Blue.
In Pensacola, FL, there is a structure called the “Graffiti Bridge.” It goes over the top of a heavily traveled road in the community and people (largely young folks) have covered it in graffiti as far back as most can recall.
On a recent Sunday morning, folks awoke to find it totally covered in black with a Blue stripe. There were numerous words of encouragement for Stephen Grogan, badge #178 in the Pensacola Police Department.
Please watch this video:
The following (in part) is from Facebook.
It has been a tough week around here (Pensacola PD). On Tuesday, we found out one of our own, Officer Stephen Grogan, was given some devastating news. It’s easier to just start from the beginning.
Stephen spent seven years in the USMC as a Captain, where he saw combat before coming home. He settled here with his wife, also a former Marine, and their new son.
He landed a safe, well-paying, white-collar job that would be the envy of any young man with a family. The kind of job where folks don’t call you bad names and you don’t wear other people’s bodily fluids home. But something kept gnawing at him. He just felt that he had more to offer.
He made one phone call and asked a thousand questions. Almost immediately, Stephen made the decision that he wanted to continue to serve his country and community as a police officer. A Pensacola Police Officer.
Officer Grogan had a family background in police work, as his father had served as a police officer himself. He approached his new job with zeal and a great sense of duty, coupled with aspirations to make this new public servant job a lifelong career.
Within a year of Stephen becoming a solo patrol officer, he began experiencing debilitating headaches. He went to the doctor and received unimaginable news. At merely 31 years of age, Officer Grogan was diagnosed with GBM, a rare form of aggressive and recurring brain cancer.
Without treatment, the expected survival rate for this form of cancer was less than three months. Even with treatment, the outlook was bleak, with people commonly surviving only about a year and very few people surviving five years or longer.
Stephen moved forward with treatment and underwent brain surgery. The doctors told him they were able to remove the majority of the tumor, and chemotherapy and medical scans would be the ongoing treatment required.
As soon as his head healed from the surgery, Officer Grogan was anxious to get back on the streets. Unfortunately, Stephen experienced a seizure and was informed that if he came back to work it would have to be in a limited duty status. He accepted this new job assignment without complaint, making the best of his desk job and approaching his duties with his usual positive attitude.
After some time in this position, Officer Grogan was medically released to return to patrol duties. When another unexpected seizure placed him back in an administrative position, Officer Grogan was still committed to serving with the police department. As he continued his treatments for cancer, he and his family were blessed to experience the birth of another son.
About two years after the initial cancer diagnosis, things appeared to be going well for the Grogan family. Tragically, this happy ending was not long lived as Stephen was recently informed that the GBM is back. The prognosis is not good, with limited treatment options. The doctors have offered a sobering life expectancy.
LOOK AT HIM
Stephen is not old man who’s already lived seven or eight decades. He’s not a fat, out-of-shape smoker who has abused his body all his life.
Stephen Grogan is a young, in-shape and good-looking guy. My wife saw his picture in uniform and she says he’s “hot.” No matter. He’s married with two sons.
He is a top-notch cop – the kind of cop authors write books about. Maybe even a town hero.
IN A FEW MONTHS HE WILL BE GONE
Look at him again. He could be you or one of your brothers. In my case, he could be my son.
The fact is this: GROGAN IS OUR BROTHER.
He is one of the guys we promised that we would take a bullet for.
The question now: What the hell are we going to do for him?
How do we fix this? We don’t.
IN THIS FAMILY, NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE
We are Grogan’s Brothers in Blue. Here is what I need YOU to do:
- If you are a man/woman of faith: pray.
- If not, pray anyway.
For worldly items, his greatest concern is regarding his POV. Currently, he has a GMC Acadia on a low-mileage lease. If he is accepted into the clinical trial, he will put a ton of miles on the vehicle driving to and from the treatment center at Duke University in North Carolina.
Miles in excess of the lease limit come at the cost of 25 cents per mile. OUCH! Buying the vehicle costs $36,000 – which Grogan doesn’t have.
Stephan and Christina very much want to take their children to Disney World while they can in order to create lasting memories for their boys. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that they are worried about money.
BUT, I AM SAYING IT: They need our financial support.
The Grogan family deserves to not worry about finances to be able to fight this disease and to enjoy the precious moments they have left.
The time is short. Think of it the way you would respond to a call for a child who is choking and cannot breathe.
Time is of the essence.
Send Stephan a word of encouragement. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailing address (c/o PPD): 711 N Hayne St, Pensacola, FL 32501. A phone number is: (850) 436-1864.
There is a GoFundMe page for the Grogan Family: Brother in Blue
The FOP an on-line fundraiser and can be found at: FOP for Grogan
Donations can also be made at the front desk of the Pensacola Police Department, 711 N Hayne St, Pensacola, FL 32501.
PLEASE, tell everyone you know. Talk about it a roll call. Post a copy of this article on the squad-room bulletin board.
Everyone knows cops from other agencies. Let them know, too; just send an email with a link to this story.
GROGAN NEEDS TO BE REMINDED OF THIS: HE IS NOT FIGHTING ALONE
Send him a greeting card of some sort. Enclose a gift certificate for Target, Walmart or something else.
Inundate the family with your prayers, your love and your support.
There isn’t a minute to waste. Stephen could be struck down tomorrow.
Every one of us who has pinned on the badge knows how quickly a life can be snuffed-out. We’ve seen it at car wrecks and other horrible incidents.
Don’t allow your failure to respond to your Brother become the ache of regret that can’t be taken away.
Let’s show the world just how strong our Brotherhood is. We have gathered by the thousands at a cop’s funeral with processions that are miles long. Let’s demonstrate our caring now BEFORE Stephen is gone. Let’s help him protect his family.
I don’t care what method you choose, what matters is that you do SOMETHING to help this family that is dire straits.
What you choose to do is between you and God. All that He expects of us is that we do our best.
This family is depending on all of us. Please, don’t let them down.
Thank you in advance. #pensacolasfinest #semperfi
Not sure what to do? Need to talk with someone?
Call me or text me. (313) 929-2600.
Send me an email – Jim@CopBlue.com.
Send me a message via carrier pigeon.
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and allowing me to share this touching story with you. I can be contacted with questions or input: EMAIL ME .