LOS ANGELES, California -- A Los Angeles police officer and his wife have both been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, prompting an outpouring of support for them and their two young children.
Laura Tomelloso was the first one diagnosed, with colon cancer. Just weeks later, her husband Michael, an LAPD Central Traffic Division officer who has been on the force for more than two decades, was diagnosed with throat cancer.
"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," LAPD Officer Bryce Verna said in an interview. "And to actually -- not one person but two people go through that -- it's pretty much lottery odds."
Carrie Cellini, a family friend, said Laura began chemotherapy treatment and "Mike was kind of holding off, kind of holding down the fort. And then it just ... it was getting bad. So then he had to start."
Friends and their church family have been helping the couple cook and clean, taking them to treatments and doctors appointments.
As the Tomellosos focus on fighting for their lives, their Los Angeles Police Department family is stepping in to help with the financial battle, setting up a Blue Ribbon trust fund account to help with their care and their sons.
One of their sons, 10-year-old Matthew, has special needs and is homeschooled.
Verna said the hope is to "make it as easy as possible for them to function and worry about their treatment and their health, rather than the money aspect of it."
Anyone interested in donating to help the Tomelloso family can find information about the family's Blue Ribbon fund here.