Celebrating Heroes

National Cancer Survivors Day and Cops

June 2, 2019 is National Cancer Survivors Day and myriad walks and runs are held to honor those who have beaten back the scourge of cancer affliction. Uplifting and bittersweet are the many moments shared among cancer patients who continue their battle and those who have been victorious—some of the latter more than once.

I’ve been honored to know many cops who have fought their own war with cancersome still in the ring and swinging for their lives. I stay attuned to a rather specific demographic of police officers who go above and beyond not only on the streets but on behalf of fulfilling wishes of children burdened with cancer, confronting mortality, yet seeking to be among the good guys/gals with badges.

Children who in their young and innocent lives have sights on being a cop are granted that particular wish, albeit in the semi-formal nature. It’s about uplifting the spirits of a child whose cancer affliction may make odds rather bleak. It’s one of life’s ugliest testimonies, but no need to let it bring the young ones down if we can help it differently, like offering them the quasi-opportunity to don a badge and smile throughout the days.

Among many like it, one such example is transpiring in Freeport, Texas. The Freeport Police Department force virtually adopted a six-year-old girl named Abigail Arias and swore her in at a ceremony held in February 2019. Honorary Officer Abigail #758 (her assigned badge number) has been making the rounds in her community, granting smiles, and boasting how she wants to beat the bad guys in her body.” The media has diligently spread Officer Abigail’s story and the Freeport police chief, Ray Garivey, is one stand-up kind of guy always in her corner.

I cherish the privilege to correspond with Chief Garivey, and it hit home today when I saw one of his latest social media posts in which he said “Love you is what I’ll continuing doing baby girl! GOD will take care of everything else!” That was followed by “I hate that I cannot heal you, all I can do is love you.” Indeed, Chief Garivey, love is all you need. And that tiny Officer Abigail’s cancer-riddled form somehow holds a massive heart…some would say the size of Texas.

She was born with that gracious heart, and it is kindled with a little help of her friends. What a testament to the preciousness of life…and the warrior-like persona of a petite police officer who has brought so many folks together, the way cops are purposed to do.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski is an OpsLens Content Manager and Contributor. Owsinski is a retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit. He is currently a researcher and writer. Follow Stephen on Twitter @uniformblue.

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