Cops for Kids with Cancer Aids Family Fighting Cancer

By Mike Springer, The Salem News

PEABODY — Laurie Grant and her daughter Katherine thought they were receiving a $1,000 donation. Instead, they got $5,000.

And it all will be put to good use — to help with personal expenses related to Katherine’s cancer treatment, thanks to Cops for Kids With Cancer, a nonprofit network of current and former police officers and friends that raises money for families caring for children with cancer.

Yesterday, former Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Robert Faherty, chairman of the board of Cops for Kids With Cancer, visited the Grants’ home in West Peabody to make the presentation, along with Peabody police Capt. John DeRosa, West Peabody area commander for the department, and Officer John Nelson, who heads up much of the department’s charitable activities.

salem-news“I feel very touched and grateful,” said Katherine, 21, following the presentation. “They do a wonderful thing.”

Katherine discovered that she had a brain tumor after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage in the week before Thanksgiving 2010, when she was a freshman at Providence College in Rhode Island. It was six months before she was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or ATRT, an extremely rare and aggressive brain tumor.

“I had a 1-in-5-million chance of getting it,” Katherine said.

Because of the rarity of the condition, her oncologist had to consult with doctors from around the world before settling on the best treatment protocol.

Peabody police Deputy Chief Scott Carriere, whom Faherty had contacted to arrange for the donation, said the department appreciated the opportunity to help a local family going through a tough time and was pleased to form a partnership with the nonprofit.

“It’s nice to be able to do something for someone that isn’t a victim of a crime,” Carriere said.

Katherine underwent surgery to remove much of the tumor, followed by eight weeks of radiation therapy. She then had four months in a row in which she underwent a three-week, in-hospital regimen of high-dose chemotherapy, followed by a bone marrow transplant to restore her immune system.

Despite the ordeal, and a terminal prognosis, Katherine keeps her spirits up by spending time with her family and enjoying movies.