Fundraiser to help state trooper fight rare form of cancer
By DEAN RADFORD
Renton Reporter Editor
September 27, 2012 · Updated 10:40 AM
Renee Padgett of Renton, a Washington state trooper who started a program to bring missing kids home, is fighting a rare form of cancer.
In May she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white-blood cell in bone marrow.
On Saturday friends and family will hold a spaghetti feed, auction and raffle at The Pickled Onion in the Renton Highlands to help raise money to pay for her medical care, which could include stem-cell transplants.
Her state insurance is not covering all of her medical expenses, Padgett said.
A single mother, Padgett has two children, Gedeon, 10, and Olivia, 7.
Padgett has already undergone aggressive chemotherapy; she got some bad news this week. The chemotherapy had only reduced the presence of the cancer in her bone marrow from 90 to 95 percent to about 80 percent.
Her chemotherapy and radiation treatments will continue at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, then the stem-cell transplants.
In intense pain, Padgett went to the emergency room on May 17, where doctors discovered a tumor on her spine that had caused four discs to collapse on top of each other, “like an earthquake,” she explained.
She had a procedure called vertebroplasty, in which a “cement” was injected into the four vertebrae, which raised them into place. Nearly all of the pain was gone.
“It was like a miracle for me, for sure,” she said. Without the procedure, she would not have been able to walk. Her insurance didn’t pay for this procedure, she said.
Padgett has undergone treatment for an iliac mass behind her right hip. Her kidneys are only working at 30 to 40 percent capacity.
Padgett is receiving widespread support from the state patrol and police and fire departments throughout the region.
For 15 years Padgett has worked closely with local agencies in her role as the state patrol’s wrecking-yard inspector in King County. She’s part of patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division.
She’s been a state trooper for 22 years.
In 2005, sitting in traffic on the way to a doctor’s appointment for one of her children, she was struck by a fear: What happens if one of my children goes missing?
Realizing she had the resources to do something, she began work on an innovative new program called Homeward Bound, designed to help locate and bring home some of the approximately 23,000 children who are reported missing in the state each year.
Her vision was to put large photographic images of missing children on the side of commercial semitrailers that travel interstate freeways.
She is partnering with Gordon Trucking on the award-winning project, and even now is preparing more posters of missing children to go on the trucks.
So far, the program has returned six children to their families.
Fundraiser for trooper
On Saturday, Sept. 29, friends and family will hold a spaghetti feed, auction and raffle at The Pickled Onion in the Renton Highlands to help raise money to pay for her medical costs.
The fundraiser starts at 5 p.m. at The Pickled Onion, 1314 Union Ave. N.E., No. 6, Renton.
The cost is $20. To order tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or they are available at the door.
Donations can be made at any Key Bank, under account No. 470432006133.
Contact Renton Reporter Editor Dean Radford at email@example.com or 1-425-255-3484 (ext 5050).