Fundraiser to help raise money for local police officers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Three officers are in the middle of fighting very serious cancers. Another is at risk of losing his leg. 

All of these officers, in some capacity or another, continue to serve our community. Now, many say it’s time to serve them. 

“When you have cancer there’s not a day that doesn’t go by that you don’t think about death. Because you might be doing good, then all of a sudden it’s not going your way,” said APD Sgt. Mel Acata. 

Acata has stage four stomach cancer and spent the last year in and out of treatment. Getting to a point where he’s well enough to go to work, but knows there may never be an official victory lap.

“It really messes up your family. In my time of need my family, my family in blue, everyone came together to help me. That’s why I’m trying to do this. These officers need help. I’m still here, I don’t know how long I had, but I think I beat that time frame,” said Acata. 

Now, he’s fighting for his brothers in blue, other men facing a brutal uphill fight. It’s one he knows all too well.

Officer Ian Fraser and training officer Richard Anderson are both going through aggressive cancer treatments. Sgt. Alexander Lewis, nearly a year after an ATV accident, may lose a leg that never healed.

“He’s the only provider for his house, he’s the only one bringing in the income,” Acata said. 

Erin Chisolm is teaming up with Acata to try and raise money to help support those families – starting with a Frito pie fundraiser on Civic Plaza.

“If someone wants to donate $500 for a Frito pie, it’s the most expensive Frito pie ever, I mean, whatever we can get the families just need it. So we want to do whatever we can,” said Chisolm. 

But they’re also working with Graphic Connection on three unique shirts that were designed for each officer.

“The shirts were designed by my little sister, she does have a dark sense of humor,” said Acata.

With the money set aside to help make the hardest fight even a tiny bit easier.

“The last thing you need when you’re going through this is just bills coming through,” said Acata.

The fundraiser is this Thursday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Civic Plaza. There will be Frito pie, APD’s lowrider, some special APD units, and perhaps some other special guests for the family.

The T-shirts can be bought online, click here for more information.