LAPD rallies to help officer, wife diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in same month
The department set up a trust fund to provide assistance with medical bills, groceries and other necessities for the couple and their two boys
By Daniella Segura
The Charlotte Observer
LOS ANGELES — In February, California police officer Michael Tomelloso was caring for his wife, Laura Tomelloso, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, media reports say.
Weeks after her diagnosis, Tomelloso, a veteran motor officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, noticed “two swollen lymph nodes in his throat,” NBC LA reported. He soon learned he had throat cancer.
The couple were both diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the same month, according to a news release shared on LAPD’s Central Traffic Division Twitter on Nov. 21.
“Not one person but two people go through that — it’s pretty much lottery odds,” LAPD Officer Bryce Verna told ABC 7.
As the couple, who have boys ages 10 and 14, was too humble to ask for help, despite medical bills piling up, family and friends decided to pitch in, family friend Carrie Cellini told NBCLA.
“Mike was just not wanting people to know,” Cellini told the outlet. “We finally said, ‘Hey, you guys are going to need for the long run.’”
The couple has been relying on the help of “friends, neighbors and church members in making life less challenging with their daily tasks and making their medical appointments, and to make Mike Jr.’s and Matthew’s childhood as positive as possible,” LAPD said.
The department also set up a blue-ribbon trust fund to help the family, according to LAPD.
“Now that he’s also unable to work, it’s created just a lot of hardship,” Sgt. Jeanna Quinones with LAPD’s Central Traffic Division told KTLA 5.
The money will be used toward “medical bills, groceries and other necessities,” LAPD said.