A Los Angeles couple diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer just weeks apart are trying to provide a “positive” childhood for their two young sons.
Laura Tomelloso, a retired officer for the US Department of Justice, had a colonoscopy in February that revealed she had Stage 4 colon cancer. Then it metastasized into ovarian cancer.
The family was heartbroken as her husband, Mike, and their sons, Mike Jr., 14, and Matthew, 10, started to come to terms with their crushing new reality.
A few weeks later, Mike, a Los Angeles police officer, noticed two swollen lymph nodes in his throat. In a distressing turn of events, a biopsy determined that he had Stage 4 throat cancer.
“It’s devastating,” Carrie Cellini, a family friend, told KNBC. “Going through that to find out your spouse is also going to be dealing with that.”
The couple reportedly refused to ask for help until their health deteriorated. Matthew is said to have special needs, requiring extra care for his homeschooling and therapy — which he has had to stop.
“Knowing what type of person he is and a family man, he was a Marine and he’s been a police officer for over 25 years and been married over 25 years to his wife,” officer Bryce Verna told KABC of Mike, who has had to stop working. “And to actually — not one person, but two people go through that — it’s pretty much lottery odds.”
“During their battle with cancer, which consists of ongoing medical treatments, surgeries and hospitalizations, they have an exhausted challenge in completing simple tasks,” the LAPD said in a statement.
The police department established a blue-ribbon trust fund to help the family make Mike Jr. and Matthew’s childhood as positive as possible, especially as medical bills continue to mount.
“It’s been hard,” Cellini told KTLA. “They’re both down. So, neither of them can really do anything.”