Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been rallying behind a veteran officer and his wife after they were both diagnosed with late-stage cancer just months apart.
LAPD Motor Officer Michael Tomelloso and his wife, Laura, also have two children – 10-year-old Matthew and 14-year-old Mike Jr., KTTV reported.
Officer Tomelloso began caring for Laura after she was diagnosed with Stage-IV colon cancer in February, KTLA reported.
The cancer has since metastasized into ovarian cancer, according to KNBC.
Just months later, in June, Officer Tomelloso was diagnosed with Stage-IV throat cancer.
“I can’t imagine two parents being down, trying to take care of two children,” the couple’s friend, Carrie Cellini, told KTLA. “It’s been hard… neither of them can really do anything.”
Officer Tomelloso’s son, Matthew, has special needs and suffered severe facial injures after being mauled by their neighbor’s dog, according to the news outlet.
The little boy needs plastic surgery to help repair the damage, but those issues have been placed on the back burner due to his parents’ illnesses, LAPD Sergeant Jeanna Quinones said.
“Now that [Officer Tomelloso] is also unable to work, it’s created just a lot of hardship,” Sgt. Quinones told KTLA.
The couple has gone through a slew of treatments, hospitalizations, and surgeries over the past six months and has been force to rely on neighbors, friends, and members of their church to help them and their boys, KTTV reported.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for them to spend every single moment with their children,” Sgt. Quinones told KTLA.
“Both of them have such a resolve and are fighters,” Cellini added, according to KABC.
In addition to serving the LAPD for more than 20 years, Officer Tomelloso is also a U.S. military veteran, KABC reported.
“He’s a family man, a Marine, a police officer for over 25 years,” LAPD Officer Bryce Verna said. “He’s been married over 25 years.”
The LAPD announced on Monday that it has set up a Blue-Ribbon Trust Fund at the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union to Help Officer Tomelloso’s family in their time of need.
LAPD Central Motor Ofcr Michael Tomelloso & Wife Need HELP! Both are diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer & need support as they fight this battle for their children, see photos. @lapdhq @KCBSKCALDesk @nbcLA @KTLAnewsdesk @KTLAMorningNews @nidia_b @abc7 @FOXLA @latimes @LaOpinionLA pic.twitter.com/KmFHpugMLP
— LAPDCTD (@LAPDCTD24) November 21, 2022
The donations will be used to help cover the family’s groceries, medical bills, food preparation, and various other unexpected expenses, according to KTTV.
“It hits me close to the heart,” LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective Juan Campos told KTLA. “So, I want to do everything possible to help the Tomelloso family get through this battle and win.”