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Police officer with cancer needed extra time off — so his brothers in blue stepped up

Riverside Police officer Chris Kudla was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and his fellow officers pitched in to donate the sick time he needed in his treatments and recovery. (Image source: KBBM-TV video screenshot)

When an Illinois police officer was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, his fellow officers came through in a big way to help him battle the disease, KBBM-TV reported.

Riverside Police Department Officer Chris Kudla is a veteran officer, but he had only been at the Riverside department for fewer than two years. As a result, he didn't have very much sick time.

After learning of his predicament, other officers donated their sick time to him so he could attend the many required appointments and treatment sessions he was facing.

"When someone gets in trouble, the way they step up and help each other out -- it's like nothing else," Kudla told KBBM.

What's the story?

Since his diagnosis late last year, Kudla has been juggling his intense cancer treatments with his job.

"There's been days that I got chemo and went to work in the afternoon, after getting chemo in the morning," Kudla said.

Kudla is the father of two children, meaning he has to balance work, treatment and family every day. His co-workers decided to ease that burden some.

"We all stick together and we try to help each other out," Sgt. Frank Pontrelli told KBBM.

The generosity extended outside just the police department as well. Employees from Village Hall and the Public Works department also donated some time.

Now, Kudla has more than six months worth of sick time to use in his fight against cancer, allowing him to focus more on recovering without having to worry about his pay or job security.

"Anything that I could do to help him and his family, I want to help him out as much as I can," Riverside Officer Joe Mahanna said.

What's his outlook?

Kudla, who recently left for a family vacation, will return to work, still going out on patrols when he's not out getting treatment. According to his doctors, he still has a fighting chance, even though the cancer is quite advanced.

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