After nearly two decades serving his community and protecting those in it, a local officer is asking his community for help.
Officer Rob Neilson is battling cancer, but has to go quite a distance for the treatment he needs to beat it.
"It's devastating. I didn't expect it," Neilson said.
Last Christmas Eve he discovered a lump on his neck that changed his life.
"I'm a non-smoker. I try to take care of myself the best I can. When we heard that news you just didn't think that it would happen to you," Neilson said.
He is a police officer in Frankenmuth and Birch Run. After years of public service his brothers and sisters behind the badge are hoping the public will help him.
They are hosting a spaghetti dinner and silent auction at the American Legion Hall in Frankenmuth on May 13, all in an effort to help Neilson bear the cost of his medical treatments at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
"It's difficult for myself and my family to be on this end because I'm the one that always wants to give," Neilson said.
Organizers of the event said they want to see the place packed on May 13.
"Everything he's done for us and our community, it's time for him to shine and let us help him," said Lisa Hill, fellow officer.
Hill is doing what she can to ease the financial burden for Neilson. He hasn't been able to work in almost two months.
Hill wants her friend to be able to focus on one thing - beating the disease.
"It's an awesome feeling and I know the community, they're going to feel the same way," Hill said.
As for Neilson, he has 16 more radiation treatments to endure. He said the ordeal is painful, but he gains strength from his wife Karen and the people of Mid-Michigan. He said he would love to see everyone at the spaghetti dinner.
"That would be almost overwhelming," Neilson said.
The dinner and silent auction starts at 4 p.m.
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