CLEVELAND — It’s easy to feel the support for Sgt. Brian Pfeuffer, a 20-year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Police and U.S. National Guard. He’s beloved by his fellow officers, so it’s no wonder his career is decorated, winning multiple awards over the years.
He’s a husband, father, and a respected member of the force.
When describing him in a letter, his brothers in blue call him “the true definition of a warrior,” showing his two daughters, 13-year-old Erin, and 11-year-old Katherine, to never give up no matter what you’re going through.
What he’s going through, is battling an incurable disease. But, he still gets up day after day to put on his uniform and report to work.
Sgt. Pfeuffer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2017. He and his wife Jennifer were confident he would beat it, putting cancer behind them. Doctors were optimistic, too.
“We were really plowing through with that light at the end of the tunnel,” Jennifer said.
He began to recover, but ongoing problems made it impossible to ignore something was very wrong. A year after his first diagnosis, more bad news: Sgt. Pfeuffer had tongue cancer, which spread to his neck, throat and lymph nodes. Since it’s an incurable form, it’s about maintenance now.
“We were just blown away. We could not believe that he had a whole other type of cancer,” Jennifer said. “We had a whole new battle on our hands. A big one.”
It’s a battle that he’s facing head on. He’s pushing through treatments that are hard on his body, changing the way he lives and eats.
Sgt. Pfeuffer is on a mostly-liquid diet, as eating has become too painful.
“Probably the most difficult part of this whole thing is not being able to taste food,” Sgt. Pfeuffer said.
None of what’s happening will stop him from doing what he loves. Over the past two years, Pfeuffer has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and had several trips to the ER. He’s even had to be airlifted to hospitals. His colleagues say, he’s never complained a single time.
“You gotta keep moving forward,” Pfeuffer said. “I’m gonna work until the grim reaper drags me out of there kicking and screaming.”
And, he’s got his whole department behind him.
His fellow officers have been offering to help since the beginning.
“They came out and mowed my lawn all last summer. Took out bushes. Did some heavy work. They guys have been great. The guys helped when I couldn’t,” Sgt. Pfeuffer said.
Other people wanted to help, too. When Arhaus, Legacy Village, and Capital Grill heard about this amazing officer, they stepped up to donate a new recliner, a $500 gift, and a $100 gift card with a knife set.
In the battle of their lives, the Pfeuffer’s have each other.
We asked Sgt. Pfeuffer how he got through the days. He answered, pointing at his wife, “Her.”
We asked him where he got his strength. He answered, “From my kids. I want to be around for them. And, again, I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for her.”
The Pfeuffer’s say they’re never giving up.
“My goal is to meet my grandchildren … and walk my daughter’s down the aisle,” an emotional Sgt. Pfeuffer told us.
“It’s a tall order right now. But we’re just going to keep pushing,” Jennifer said.
He’s pushing on, putting on that uniform, and protecting and serving the people. It’s who he is.
“It’s developed into who I am. Internally. Pinning on a badge and going out every day…10 hours a day. 40-50 hours a week. After 20 years, it’s what I like to do, it’s what I love to do. I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Sgt. Pfeuffer said.
The Pfeuffer’s have had an extremely difficult year between Brian’s cancer, and multiple other health issues involving Jennifer and the girls. Medical bills are piling up.
So, friends and family set up a GoFundMe account in the Pfeuffer family’s name. If you’d like to help, please click HERE.