‘Very blessed’: Cleveland police officer reflects on surviving cancer as she returns to work

Updated: Jan. 6, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland police have welcomed back one of their own following a 13-month battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Fourth District Officer Vickie Przybylski returned to active duty just before the end of 2022.

She sat down with 19 News. She said there was never a moment she was scared.

“I’m very, very blessed. There was no fear,” said Przybylski.

Przybylski, a mother, wife and 16-year veteran officer, described the moment she learned the devastating news.

“I said ‘This is your show God, so whatever is going to happen, let’s just have something good happen,”” said Przybylski. “I just very grateful, this whole journey has been such a blessing.”

She said she went straight to surgery.

Rather in her bed resting, nine days later she was at Fourth District Headquarters.

Instead of on the streets, she was behind this desk, making time for chemo.

“The command staff approved for me to be able to work as an expeditor, so I was taking reports over the phone,” said Przybylski.

More than a year later, she is in remission and back to patrolling on the night shift.

Fourth District Commander Maurice Brown told 19 News that Przybylski is the type of officer and person he wants on his team.

“Honestly those are the type of people I want to work in this building,” he said. “I want people who really want to be here. Not just for a paycheck but people that wan to serve the citizens of Cleveland”

An endless fight, she said she is glad she never gave up on it.

“They’ve seen me be determined and stubborn in other situations in other situations in life so they knew I would be OK,” said Przybylski.

Przybylski said to remember why officers took the job.

“Try to help one person each and every day that you work,” she said. “Help put them on a better path. Also, really look out for each other. Don’t wait till something bad happens to a fellow officer to pay attention. We are family and we are all we’ve got.”

She told 19 News she still has maintenance scans, must take a chemo pill twice a day for the next five years, and infusion for the next two years.