A group of local first responders in Texas is rallying around a police officer who was diagnosed with stage 3 thyroid cancer after she was injured in an on-duty crash in 2016. Cecilia Cantu, a nine-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), was dealt a second blow recently when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, San Antonio Express-News reported.
Because she is undergoing treatment, Cantu has not been able to rejoin the force since being diagnosed, so first responders held a barbecue benefit on Monday and raised more than $20,000 to help her cover medical expenses. First responders included those from the San Antonio Fire Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
“She would do the same thing for us if we were in her shoes,” Douglas Green, an SAPD spokesman, told San Antonio Express-News. “We’re all a family here on the department.”
Cantu was injured in July while tracking vehicle speeds on Interstate 35. According to the report, a motorist crashed into the back of her patrol vehicle. While seeking treatment for injuries sustained in the crash, doctors discovered stage 3 cancer.
The 100 Club of San Antonio, which typically provides assistance to family of deceased first responders, has said they will contribute to Cantu’s fund as well.
“We certainly want to assist the family in any way we can,” Richard Miller, president of 100 Club of San Antonio, told San Antonio Express-News.