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Retired Glendale police sergeant battling terminal brain cancer

(Courtesy of Julie Love)

PHOENIX — After dedicating her life to serving others, retired Glendale police sergeant Julie Love is now fighting for her life.

Love, who served on the Glendale Police Department starting in 1985, was diagnosed last year with stage 3 Glioblastoma, the same aggressive brain cancer that U.S. Sen. John McCain died from.

The news came as a shock for Love, who had just finished a 6-mile run the morning she was diagnosed.

“I got home and my body acted like I had a stroke. I couldn’t move my left side,” Love told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

“I went to the hospital and within an hour I was talking to neurosurgeons and in surgery just two days later to remove the tumor.”

When asked what her life has been like since her diagnosis, Love’s eyes filled with tears. She described it as “taking an entirely different direction.”

The avid runner, retired police sergeant and dedicated grandmother is now considered disabled and cannot work — while facing radiation, chemotherapy and MRIs to battle the aggressive brain cancer.

The 60-year-old said she is doing whatever she can to stay optimistic and fight for not only herself but her family.

“It’s hard for me because I don’t take help easily. I’ve always worked hard and taken care of myself,” she said.

“I always felt called to be a cop, I loved being a police officer. I love, love, love that job and it breaks my heart I can’t do it anymore.”

Love started her career as a police officer in Colorado in 1983 before moving to Arizona, where she worked in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and GREAT programs, led the Incident Command System and trained officers for the Arizona Division of Emergency Management as well as the Department of Homeland Security.

Now one Valley-based organization is looking to give back to her. Crisis 22 Project, which aims to combat veteran suicides, is hosting a brain cancer awareness charity poker run on Saturday to help Love and her family.

Anyone who wants to participate can sign up at the Disabled American Veterans Department of Arizona’s Glendale chapter starting at 9 a.m. the day of the race. Registration is $20 per driver and $10 per passenger. Supporters can also donate to her GoFundMe page.

She told KTAR News she is now accepting support because her medical bills are through the roof and she still wants to help support her grandchildren.

“I know I need it. Suddenly I’m paying for my own insurance. I’m facing a ton of bills all of a sudden,” she said.

“Already the help I have received has been amazing and I just feel so humbled.”

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