Cleveland Police Officer Vickie Przybylski recently returned to active duty after surviving a 13-month bout with stage-4 ovarian cancer.
The Fourth District officer reflected on the past months in an interview with 19 News.
“I’m very, very blessed. There was no fear,” Przybylski said of her experience.
The 16-year veteran officer and mother’s journey began after visiting the emergency room at University Hospitals on November 1, 2021 after not feeling well.
After running some tests, doctors discovered an 8-inch mass on her ovary.
Przybylski said she trusted in God as soon as she received the diagnosis.
“I said ‘This is your show, God, so whatever is going to happen, let’s just have something good happen,”” Przybylski said. “I just very grateful this whole journey has been such a blessing.”
Shortly after her diagnosis, Przybylski underwent an operation to remove the tumor. Nine days of recovery later, she was back at the police headquarters while scheduling time for chemotherapy.
“The command staff approved for me to be able to work as an expeditor, so I was taking reports over the phone,” Przybylski explained.
Now a year later, Przybylski is back on night patrol.
“I’m just so happy to be back on patrol, and to be able to really go out and help people, and to be back with my guys,” the Cleveland native said.
She even received the CPD’s Officer of the Month award.
Fourth District Commander Maurice Brown commended her dedication as a law enforcement officer.
“Honestly, those are the type of people I want to work in this building,” he said. “I want people who really want to be here. Not just for a paycheck but people who want to serve the citizens of Cleveland.”
For Przybylski, the fight is not over yet. She still has to get regular maintenance scans, take chemo pills twice a day for the next five years and have an infusion for the next two years while she is in remission.
However, her co-workers have faith that she’ll get over the last hurdle.
“They’ve seen me be determined and stubborn in other situations in other situations in life so they knew I would be OK,” Przybylski said.
She added that her job is like her family.
“Try to help one person each and every day you work,” she said. “Help put them on a better path. Also, really look out for each other. Don’t wait till something bad happens to a fellow officer to pay attention. We are family and we are all we’ve got.”