Warren police officer battling cancer isn’t fighting alone

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Warren City police officer is in the fight of his life. Diagnosed with stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma, he’s got a tough road ahead but his fellow officers and friends are showing him he’s not in it alone.

Patrolman Lance Adkins has been an officer in Warren for four years and previously worked for Braceville PD and as a Trumbull County 911 dispatcher.

Just last week, Adkins found out his kidney cancer had returned.

“It’s a shock at first and then you sit back, think about your family and friends and what you have to fight for, and put on your big boy pants and go to work,” he said.

This time, the cancer traveled up, settling in a lymph node in his chest.

Doctors said he has just a 10 percent chance of long-term survival, and will likely need surgery and intense immunotherapy treatment. Adkins could be off work anywhere from six months to a year during that time.

That’s where his brothers and sisters at the Warren Police Department stepped in. They set up a fundraising site to help with medical expenses and to take care of his family.

“We’re pretty sure he’s gonna run out of sick time here and we wanted to have the finances available for him to take any incidentals that he might come across through his battle,” Chief Eric Merkel said.

Adkins’ friend and former fellow dispatcher Jim Petruzzi is raising money, too, by selling silicone bracelets reading “Adkins Strong.”

“It’s gonna be a long and difficult road for him so every little bit helps,” he said.

He’s waiting for 500 more to come in but those have pretty much all sold out, too.

“It’s been completely overwhelming,” Adkins said. “It’s one of those things where everyone hangs in together.”

“He’s dedicated his life to serving others, from being an EMT, to a firefighter, to a 911 dispatcher, to a full-time police officer. He’s given a lot. It’s time for people to give back to him,” Petruzzi said.

Adkins said he’s “taken aback” by the response from the community.

“To know that everybody’s here for you and that nobody’s fighting it alone.”

Warren police set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Adkins and his family.

You can buy an “Adkins Strong” bracelet through Petruzzi’s Facebook account.