AURORA, Colo. — Aurora police are raising money for an officer battling terminal cancer.
The department is planning a raffle and promoting an online fundraiser campaign to benefit Officer Tom Faustin, who has Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Faustin’s cancer has progressed in recent months and doctors have given him limited time for survival.
“The situation sucks, it’s a hard battle, a hard journey,” Faustin said. “I [have] a wife, two kids. And this horrible disease doesn’t just affect the person that’s got the diagnosis, it latches onto every single loved person in their life.”
Faustin knows how important it is to have support at a time like this.
Nearly two years ago, he helped organize an online fundraiser for another Aurora Police Department (APD) family battling cancer.
The “Ring of Fire” challenge – which dared participants to choose between eating three donuts in a minute, or a habanero pepper – helped raise money and bring awareness to Tayler Ellison’s battle with bone cancer. Tayler’s father, Shane Ellison, is another officer in the department.
The challenge caught on quickly, and law enforcement officers around the state joined in.
“I had a good laugh. It was funny to watch them,” she said.
“It was nice to kind of bring us out of the hospital, to see people doing that and having fun getting together to do stuff like that,” added her dad, Shane. ”It was good therapy for us while in the hospital.”
The Ellisons say they were grateful for all the support shown to their family during Tayler’s cancer fight. Today, the 15-year-old high school freshman is healthy again.
“It’s going pretty well. I still have tests and scans every couple months to check up,” she said.
As Faustin continues his battle against the disease, Tayler encourages people to support him and his family.
“When people do help each other, it kind of gives them hope and takes their mind off what they’re going through,” she said.
“In a selfish way, [Tayler’s] fundraiser did me a lot of good,” Faustin added. “To see the countless number of police officers, firefighters, people coming from woodworks to fight this fight with them. It helped me feel like I’m not alone.”
APD is looking for help with the benefit for Faustin, including any businesses willing to donate items for the raffle. Businesses can contact Myshell Bolton at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
APD is also sharing a link to an online fundraiser (Cops Fighting Cancer campaign) to support Faustin’s family.
“They are compassionate, they are loving, and they refuse to watch a brother or sister dealing with this fight, [or] walk that journey alone,” Faustin said.
Faustin has requested that a portion of the funds raised through these efforts be set aside, to benefit a future Aurora police officer or family member battling cancer.
“I know I’m not the first, I certainly know I’m not going to be the last. And knowing that the love and generosity that people are extending to me and my family right now, knowing that portion of that will be immediately available for the next person to start walking this journey, really helps me,” he said. “To know that they’re going to be taken care of.”
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