Ray Kelly stands with Roosevelt Award winners
Sgt. Nicole Dean, P.O. Eric Rivera, Det. Hugo Navarro, and (l. to r.,
back row ) P.O. Ronald Geoffrion, Dets. Nelson Dones and Keith
Six NYPD officers were honored Wednesday night at the annual Theodore Roosevelt Awards dinner, celebrating their return to work after battling serious illnesses.
award was created in 2005 to honor former President Teddy Roosevelt,
who once headed the New York City Police Department after overcoming
several serious childhood illnesses.
The officers were feted by top brass at the New York Yacht Club, where they were praised for their determination.
Sgt. Nicole Dean
discovered she was ill during a routine checkup in 2008, when doctors
found her kidneys had been severely damaged by an autoimmune disease. A
kidney transplant from her eldest son, Dominic, early in 2009 saved her
life and she was able to go back to work last October.
Nelson Dones similarly discovered he was sick when he was hospitalized
in 2000 with flu-like symptoms. Doctors found he had stage IV lymphoma
and needed a bone marrow transplant. The day he was set for surgery,
Dones wore his police uniform for inspiration. After a five-year fight,
he returned to work as a training officer for the transit police.
Police Officer Ronald Geoffrion
has battled numerous ailments since 1994 - including a bleeding
disorder, prostate cancer and diabetes - but has refused to take a day
of sick leave. He continues to work at the NYPD firing range at Rodman's
Neck in the Bronx.
Detective Keith McLaughlin was working on Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's
security detail in 2007 when he noticed a lump on his face that turned
out to be stage IV melanoma. Through physical therapy and an
experimental regimen of drugs, McLaughlin returned to work this year cancer-free.
Undercover narcotics Detective Hugo Navarro
was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer in 2007. A new kind of treatment
saved his life. He was declared cancer-free in 2009 and works training
Police Officer Eric Rivera
discovered he had a brain tumor during a CAT scan following a bike
accident while on patrol in 2006. He managed to go back to work in 2008,
but the cancer struck again. Following more treatment, Rivera returned
to the job as an intelligence officer in the 10th Precinct.