A Dixon Police officer is back to work within months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
“It’s just something that I want to keep doing,” said Officer P.J. Ginn. “So, that was one of the first things that came to my mind: whether or not I’d be able to do police work.”
The question sat heavy on Ginn’s mind. In February, what seemed like a normal trip to the doctor’s office turned into a day he would never forget.
“I started having migraines and I noticed that I had double vision in my right eye, so I went to get that checked out,” Ginn said. “They referred me to my family doctor and they did an MRI, and that’s how we found that I had a tumor, basically, in the center of my brain.”
After seven long months of surgeries and radiation treatments in his battle against brain cancer, Officer Ginn was cleared to return to duty, to serve the community he was born and raised in.
Two weeks ago, he returned to the force. On his first day back, when he was responding to what he thought was a service call, Officer Ginn got a surprise from his department, as well as Dixon High School students.
“I was super surprised, and it was just cool,” he recalled. “That they still show the support, even though I am back to work and feeling better, it was special, definitely.”
That support is what Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell says reflects the trust between Officer Ginn, the rest of the force, and the community.
“It shows you that we have a great relationship with the citizens of this community,” Chief Howell said. “We continue to strive for that, and continue to work on that relationship with them.”
Although Ginn isn’t out of the woods yet, he’s remained positive throughout it all.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “You know, for a bad diagnosis, it’s really been a super positive experience, just ’cause of all the support from my friends and family and even people I don’t know on a personal level.”
Officer Ginn will learn how the cancer has reacted to treatment in October.