The community is joining together to provide support for Pleasanton police Officer Kyle Henricksen, who is undergoing treatment to fight an aggressive form of cancer.
A 10-year member of the Pleasanton Police Department, Henricksen was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that metastasized to his stomach lining, a very rare diagnosis for someone 35 years old like Henricksen, according to his family.
His wife Jenn and supporters created a GoFundMe campaign -- called “Help Kyle Kick Cancer” -- to help raise funds to support the family as Henricksen prepares for a trial treatment offered through Stanford Health Care on a self-pay basis.
Within days of opening online, the GoFundMe campaign was already more than half of the way toward its goal of $100,000 through community donations. The fund stood at $77,640 as of Monday night.
“The outpouring of love and support has been nothing short of amazing,” Jenn Henricksen wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I know we have a long hellish road ahead but he's strong and with the strength of our village I know we've got this. Every time my phone goes off it's a reminder we're not in this alone and we appreciate all the love and support during this fight.”
Henricksen began his law enforcement career with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for three years before being hired by the Pleasanton Police Department, where he has worked for the past decade.
“Kyle has made many friends along the way but has said his favorite thing about his job is interacting with the community and making people laugh,” supporters wrote on the GoFundMe page.
The couple have two biological children and are raising their teen niece after the death of Henricksen’s brother three years ago. They also raised Jenn’s younger sister, who is now a young adult.
The GoFundMe page features anecdotes about the Henricksens, photos from their vacations and a couple short videos from the family after his cancer diagnosis.
“The Henricksen family would like to express their overwhelming appreciation for the outpouring of support Kyle has received thus far from our community, law enforcement partners, department and city administration,” Officer Nicholas Albert, president of the Pleasanton Police Officers Association, said on Monday.
“It is no exaggeration to describe Kyle Henricksen as one of Pleasanton’s finest,” Albert added. “Kyle’s dedication to the service of others goes far beyond his 13 years in uniform or any professional creed, it is a lifestyle by which he and his family live daily. This is our opportunity as an association to support and serve Kyle as he battles this disease that knows no boundaries.”
Henricksen’s union has embraced the support efforts such as the GoFundMe drive and sales of “#kylesvillage” T-shirts, according to Albert. The association also plans to donate proceeds from its upcoming crab feed to the Henricksen family. (Details are available on the PPOA Facebook page.)
The entire police department also stands in support of Henricksen, according to Police Chief Dave Spiller.
“The members of our department have been ‘rocked’ and shaken by this diagnosis, and we are all rallying around Kyle and his family to support him in anyway we can,” Spiller told the Weekly.
“The men and women in this organization put themselves out there every day providing service to the community, sometimes under very dangerous circumstances. Now it’s time for us to stand to support one of our own and support Kyle through this unimaginable challenge,” Spiller added.
Henricksen’s supporters ask those interested to visit the GoFundMe page as well as show support throughout social media using #kylekickscancer and #kylesvillage.