Cancer fund-raiser a reminder of humanity behind the badge

A myriad of thoughts and emotions are encountered whenever the diagnosis is cancer.

It's the dreaded "C" word nobody wants to hear, whether personally, friend, family member, neighbor or stranger. Cancer does not discriminate by age, gender, race or occupation.

Last week it came to light a Cape Girardeau police officer was diagnosed with cancer through a fundraising story reported by Southeast Missourian reporter Tyler Graef. The officer was not identified, but it was clear he or she was not standing alone in this fight. Cape Girardeau Officer Shaun Alsdorf, president of Lodge 51 of the Fraternal Order of Police, announced a fundraiser by the local chapter, and that Buffalo Wild Wings already had stepped up to contribute 10 percent of its food sales upon a diner's request on a designated day earlier last month.

Restaurant manager Holly Gordon said the chain encourages individual franchises to become involved in helping communities.

"It's important for us to give back to our community," Gordon said. "[Police officers] are the ones who keep us safe. When something goes wrong, they're there for us, so we wanted to help."

That attitude is commended, and we're sure she speaks for the many.

This unfortunate situation also brought to the forefront that our law enforcers are human, a fact sometimes forgotten. Not only do our first responders face risk in the line of duty, but they are subject to the same health risks as the rest of us.

There is a fight ahead for this officer, one not against crime, but for health. Thanks to advances in medicine there are many effective treatments to battle and overcome cancer. And there are other "C" words that can be used in that fight, ones like "caring," "concern" and "community." It's important one knows others also are digging in their heels, lending support both emotionally and financially.

Fundraising is ongoing, with donations being accepted at the Cape Girardeau police station.

"Every nickel and dime, every penny is going to this officer and his family to help them get through this hard time," Alsdorf said.

We wish this officer a quick, full recovery.