On August 10, 2018, after a nearly two year battle with breast cancer, Jersey City Police Officer and Brothers Before Others member Gina Sandwith returned to full duty!
Gina was hired by the Jersey City Police Department in July of 2012. Prior to that, Gina served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps., doing three tours overseas in 2010, 2012 and 2013. She attributes the skills learned during this time to preparing her for what would be the fight of her life. Se said, “The Corps. taught me to stay focused and maintain a positive outlook in the worst situations imaginable. You NEVER give up. Every time I had a setback, I pushed back harder.”
In February of 2017, Gina was diagnosed with breast cancer. She endured an aggressive chemotherapy regimen, culminating that July.
During this time, her law enforcement family rallied around her and her blood family. Both the Jersey City PD and Brothers Before Others hosted several fundraiser events. Not only were these intended to offset some of the financial burden associated with fighting cancer but, more importantly, they were set up to show solidarity. Hosted by the Port Authority Police Holland Tunnel Command, piggy-backing off an idea sparked by the JCPD, BBO sponsored a ‘head-shaving’ bbq, at which monies were raised and attendees had the opportunity to shave their heads.
Gina recalls, “The Blue Family has been the biggest supporters of my entire family; from shaving their heads with me, to volunteering to drive me to appointments, to keeping me decked out in blue line attire, and even jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft!! I love my BBO, PAPD and JCPD family!!”
On August 17, 2017, Gina underwent a bilateral mastectomy, followed by radiation. While on May 8, 2018, Gina underwent reconstructive surgery, she developed two pulmonary embolisms. She still will be required to have one more surgery, potentially as soon as October. To complicate matters, her mother, who has been her primary caretaker through her fight, is now fighting her own cancer battle after also being diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2018.
From her parents to her siblings and beyond, the entire Sandwith family has shown strength beyond measure and the importance of family as you take on what life can throw at you. Brothers Before Others has shown that not all family is “blood”.
Our hearts were filled with pride seeing Gina back in uniform and back in the fight and our continued thoughts and prayers are with her and he family as they continue to battle!
For more Information/Resources on Breast Cancer:
For the original coverage of BBO/Sandwith Fundraiser: