The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is rallying to support a fellow officer and his wife, who were diagnosed with stage 4 cancers just a few months apart from each other.
LAPD Central Traffic Division Officer Michael Tomelloso, a father of two boys, was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. Months before his diagnosis, his wife, Laura, was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to ovarian cancer.
“It’s devastating, and for [Laura] — going through that to find out your spouse is also going to be dealing with that,” family friend Carrie Cellini told KNBC.
To help the family cope with the cost of both parents undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy treatment, family members, friends, church members and LAPD police officers did their utmost to lift the family by chipping in with donations.
“It hits close to home when it’s someone that’s walking the same path in life,” Officer Rob Golden said. “He has a servant’s heart. He’s always helped others and put others before him, beginning with his family and the community at large.”
Michael, 49, began his career path with the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school. He then served as an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 25 years.
Laura previously worked at the FBI but left to homeschool their younger son with special needs.
According to Golden, the Tomellosos were relying on state disability pay and help from their personal insurance policies. However, the couple was forced to dip into their retirement and savings to cover the cost.
“During this holiday season, what better time to lift them up not only in prayer but also to help them financially?” Officer Golden added.
To give the family a boost, the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit union opened a Blue Ribbon Trust Fund for the Tomellosos that is accepting donations from the community.
The LAPD Central Traffic Division also released a statement encouraging the public to donate to the fund.
“During their battle with cancer, which consists of ongoing medical treatments, surgeries and hospitalizations, they have an exhausting challenge in completing simple tasks. They have been relying on friends, neighbors and church members in making life less challenging with their daily tasks and making their medical appointments, and to make Mike Jr. and Matthew’s childhood as positive as possible,” the statement read.
Both parents have undergone rounds of chemo and surgeries but are staying optimistic.
Laura’s sister-in-law, Silvia Mitchell, who has been doing her best to support the family during these times, said they are staying positive.
“They’re staying positive, as positive as you can, at this time,” she said.