Renton, WA – Washington State Patrol Trooper Renee Padgett died on Tuesday, following a six-year cancer battle, her department said.
Trooper Padgett, 50, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of white blood cell cancer, back in 2012, KOMO reported.
Using her own cells, she underwent a stem-cell transplant in 2013, and went into remission for two years.
Even after her cancer went into remission, Trooper Padgett knew that patients with her form of cancer tended to relapse within 24 to 36 months, she told the Renton Reporter at the time.
“I worked really hard…[and] I want to stick around,” she said.
Trooper Padgett returned to work part-time, and was just two weeks away from returning to full-time duty when doctors told her that the cancer had returned, according to the Renton Reporter.
She received an outpouring of support from her fellow officers and the community as they searched to help her find a bone marrow donor with the potential to add years to her life, KOMO reported.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers volunteered to see if they were a match, and her coworkers held donor drives in Spokane, Olympia, and Bellevue.
At the Pierce County Jail, 40 inmates read about her desperate struggle and also volunteered to be tested.
"Our doctors told us one in a million, but we look at that as Renee's one in a million, so we're not giving up," her wife, Marcella Egan told KOMO at the time.
In November of 2015, that one-in-a-million donor was found, and Trooper Padgett received the bone marrow transplant the following March, according to the Renton Reporter.
The trooper and her supporters helped to register over 700 people to the Bone Marrow Registry during their quest.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Trooper Renee Padgett following a long and courageous battle with cancer,” the Washington State Patrol said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Trooper Padgett has been with the Washington State Patrol for 27 years, spending her whole career in King County. We will never forget you.”
In addition to her wife, Trooper Padgett also leaves behind her son, Gedeon, and her daughter, Olivia, according to the Renton Reporter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Washington State Patrol Trooper Renee Padgett, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.