Officers donate sick days to colleague battling cancer
Officer Chris Kudla, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, had next to no sick days, so his colleagues stepped in to help
By PoliceOne Staff
CHICAGO — Several officers are coming to the aid of a colleague battling cancer by donating their sick days.
Last year, Riverside Officer Chris Kudla was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, CBS Chicago reported. After his diagnosis, doctors told the officer that he needed to go to countless medical visits and undergo chemotherapy treatments.
Because Kudla has been with the Riverside Police Department for less than two years, he has next to no sick time.
“There’s been days that I got chemo and went to work in the afternoon, after getting chemo in the morning,” Kudla said.
After learning about their colleague’s case, several officers in the department stepped in to help and donated their sick time to Kudla.
“We all stick together and we try to help each other out,” Sgt. Frank Pontrelli said.
Riverside Chief Tom Weitzel said he was extremely proud of his officers helping out their colleague. He said that nearly every single officer in the department gave their maximum sick days to Kudla.
The officers weren’t the only ones to help Kudla. Employees at Riverside Village Hall and Public Works also donated their sick time to the officer.
“He basically got over six months of time for him to use for his medical treatment,” Weitzel said.
Kudla said he’s grateful from the support he has been given. He recently went on his first trip in several years with his family. Kudla said the donated sick time has given him more time to spend with his family.
“When someone gets in trouble, the way they step up and help each other out – it’s like nothing else,” Kudla said.
When not in treatment, Kudla continues to patrol the streets of Riverside. Despite his diagnosis, doctors said the officer still has a fighting chance of beating the cancer.