From fighting crime to fighting cancer, a local police officer now faces the challenge of a lifetime.
Officer Kevin Thomas grew up in Gallatin and started his career in law enforcement right out of high school.
"It's a good place to be. So, I'm happy here," Thomas said.
But on the job last month, a migraine headache revealed a major crisis that had him minutes from death.
"It wasn't something we expected at all. You pretty much ... you wake up one morning and your life completely changes," said wife Lois Thomas.
In the middle of May, Kevin Thomas got a migraine while on the job as a Gallatin police officer.
"I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how bad it was until I got out of my car on a call and I was kind of unsteady on my feet. And I said, 'this is not right,'" Kevin Thomas said.
Doctors soon discovered a plum-sized tumor in his brain.
"When you say your vows, you don't really think that you're going to have to do the 'in sickness' part. But, you know, it's a whole new meaning to it," Lois Thomas said.
Six weeks later, doctors visits dictate the days. At home, Kevin Thomas gardens and spends time with the couple's six children.
"My oldest son, he knew that I was going to be doing chemo, and I was probably going to lose my hair. So he shaved his head, too, just to kind of support Dad a little bit. And the others are good," Kevin Thomas said.
At work, the department launched a push to help. So far, it has raised $3,000 to help cover what insurance will not.
It's a bright spot for an officer and his family who could use the support.
"You know, we have every right to be angry. But we're not. I'm not," Lois Thomas said. "And you can't help but see God in his love for us with all that he has given us, even through the hurt."
"I focus on the positive, and I think we're going to beat this and move forward. I got a lot of living to do and little ones to raise," Kevin Thomas said.
Kevin Thomas' prognosis is still unclear. Doctors removed his tumor, but tests indicated cancer cells still in his brain. So, for now, it's chemotherapy, radiation and hopes to return to work in about six months to a year.
The Gallatin Police Department has organized several fundraisers to help the Thomases with their expenses, including a pancake breakfast Saturday morning at City Hall.
Other upcoming fundraising events:
Benefit Run at Half Time Sports Bar & Grill
209 W. Eastland St., Gallatin
For more information, call 615-461-8362.
Golf Tournament at Long Hollow Golf Course
$220 for four-person team, $55 per individual
To register, call 615-451-3120.
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