I have been a chaplain with both the City of Kent Police and Fire Departments for several years, along with my husband Pat Ellis. In 2009, after 16 years of working a full time job, I resigned to become more involved as a chaplain. I love working alongside our Police Officers and Firefighters as they serve our community. My desire is to serve those who serve us as they lay down their lives daily to protect us.
Cops With Cancer has a very special place in my heart; I am so honored to serve on the board and as the programs CEO. Cancer is a scary diagnosis; it has affected my own life in many ways. My stepmom died from Pancreatic Cancer in 1992. Then the most favorite person in my world, my grandmother (Meme), was taken in 1995. My stepdad was diagnosed and Passed away in 2001. In August 1999 I myself was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove it in September of that year, I am now a survivor.
I became involved with Cops With Cancer the night of the first Dinner Auction, helping out with whatever needed to be done. When it came time to close the auction, the board members needed some help with cashing out our guests. I had 14 years of experience as a bookkeeper working at Les Schwab Tires so they asked if I would help, and I haven’t looked back since. I became Treasure that night and now, as of 2012, I have taken the task of becoming the Foundations CEO.
Cancer has so many uncertainties and for those who feel like they have to always been in control this disease hits them with a different perspective. If we can help with some of those uncertainties, we can make Greg’s dream for Cops With Cancer have purpose.
Chaplain Pat Ellis Kent PD & FD
In October of 2000 I started volunteering with the Kent Police Department as their chaplain working with the community during times of tragedy and I often found myself helping officers sort through personal issues in their lives as well. I will never forget the day I was riding in a patrol car with Greg Duffin when he told me his cancer was back and in his lungs.
As Greg and I walked through the diagnoses he shared with me his idea of helping other police officers in his situation by getting together and sharing their stories as a way of encouraging each other. Greg wanted this group to be only police officers who currently had or was once diagnosed with cancer. He asked if I would come as a chaplain to give whatever support that was needed.
I will never forget that first meeting… we sat in a circle and each person went around and shared their story. I don’t remember how long we were there but I will never forget the impact that was made on my life that night. The courage and strength and humility that each person encompassed was completely overwhelming. There were several more meetings up until Greg’s death and a few after. But the idea was planted and a few people decided to do a fundraiser to benefit Greg’s dream. It was then that I started the non-profit organization so that there would be a place for those funds to go. I had no idea what I was doing and now a few year later the dream is growing and officers are being helped.
Patrick Morgan - Vice President
Patrick is our new VP! Thanks for coming on board Patrick his info will be here soon!
Estella Morgan - Secretary
Our new Secretary, Estella, so exocted! She is a awesome assett with her skills toward details. Her bio will be here soon.
Shelly Duffin | Honorary Board Member
My husband, Greg Duffin, lost his life on September 1, 2007 after a six year battle with kidney cancer. He served the citizens of Kent from 1995 to 2007 as a police officer and truly enjoyed contributing and making a positive difference in the community. I am the Secretary to the Board for the non-profit group, "Cops with Cancer", which was started by my late husband. After being unsuccessful in locating a cancer support group that benefited his particular needs and recognizing that police officers have a unique way of dealing with personal tragedy, such as cancer, Greg formed the support group “Cops with Cancer”. Police officers are trained that they must be in control of their emotions at all times, making it difficult to express their fears and emotions. Members met on a regular basis to discuss such topics as health conditions; daily emotions and concerns; and the difficulties of living with cancer as an officer. The group was a special haven for Greg allowing him to express himself comfortably and as a result he was calmer and in better spirits after each meeting.
Greg had a love for cars and owned a 41 Plymouth Coupe which he attempted to restore while under treatment. Fellow officers built his dream hot rod with donated funds and arranged a phenomenal custom hot rod and motorcycle rally to raise additional funds for our family. The rally included a barbecue, music band, and an exceptional auction where considerable funds were donated. City of Kent employees, as well as their family members and friends, donated their time to facilitate the extraordinary event. The day was simply magical and Greg and I were overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity and love given to us by each and every person.
The Kent Police Department along with The City of Kent took us under their wings and carried us through and beyond Greg's passing. They helped our family on numerous occasions with meals, household needs, moral support, and daily transportation to Greg’s treatments. The City of Kent has the most empathic; giving people anyone could have the privilege of knowing. I am extremely grateful for the unconditional love and support given to our family. I feel blessed to be in the position to help others under similar situations through my role with the organization “Cops with Cancer”.