First Responder Battles Brain Tumor
After two years of puzzling symptoms, Chris Hardin was diagnosed in April of this year with a brain tumor, large in size and rare in frequency. Pushing against his brain stem, the removal of this life-threatening assailant requires a type of procedure in which few specialists excel; it is a surgery with a high risk of paralytic complications. After finding the right specialist in San Diego, surgery was planned for July, only to be postponed when Chris suffered a heart attack in May. He has since been treated (stents, blood thinners), but now must wait six months for his brain surgery (scheduled for November).
This Is Not Chris’ First Battle
For teenage Chris Hardin, adulthood began when he ran away from home. Surely, he must’ve thought, the grown-up world can’t be as chaotic and heartbreakingly dysfunctional as was the childhood world he knew, one defined by parental abduction, physical abuse, outright hostility, and servitude.
It was to be the last time he ran away from anything.
Denied, due to a congenital condition, the safe harbor and technical training he sought in applying to the U.S Navy, Chris made his way to his native state of California where, upon meeting his biological father (from whom he’d been forcibly abducted as a child) he discovered a man too laidback and self-centered to qualify as any kind of father. Disappointed for sure, it was however at this low moment that good fortune finally found him: first, in placing him amidst a robust job market where his natural aptitude for technology could bring in enough money to support himself through night school and San Jose State University; second, in putting him within reach of his grandparents, active, civic-minded San Joseans who introduced him to the emotional nurturing and mentoring of which he’d hitherto been deprived. From these two breaks, plus a lot of hard work and a productive blind date, Chris turned a desperate Texas runaway into a productive, taxpaying married man, one with a very bright future as a well-paid mercenary in the high-tech world of headhunters, startups, and stock options.
Then 9/11 occurred. Wanting to do something, as did so many young Americans, Chris turned his back on his lucrative career and looked to law enforcement, eager to contribute his work ethic, patriotism, and computer skills to the battle to keep his country safe. Hired by the San Jose Police Department in 2002, Chris worked his way into the High Tech Unit and, after riding out some ill-advised budget cuts, into the ICAC Unit (Internet Crimes Against Children), and ultimately to the District Attorney’s crime lab.
Personal tragedy struck in 2016 when his wife suffered a psychiatric breakdown. A year later, with a preteen son at home, his wife just released from the hospital, and no extended family for support, Chris escaped the high costs and pressures of the Bay Area and relocated his family to Idaho, taking a position with the attorney general’s office. The job was a good one — he was again protecting children from predators — but try as he might, he could neither keep his wife out of the hospital nor convince her to remain in the marriage once hospitalized.
Predictably, witnessing the mental destruction of his mother had a devastating effect on the couple’s son, resulting in some alarming behaviors and requiring a demanding level of care. For that, Chris was there, alone, with the good news being that the boy emerged better-able to cope with his mother’s illness, the bad news being that he was now confronted by a very serious threat to his father’s life.
Why Chris Needs Your Help
Not surprisingly, Chris is facing a mountain of uncertainty and medical debt. He can’t be sure how he will physically emerge from the surgery (or the rigorous rehabilitation that is sure to follow), but he has no doubts about the financial outcome. Getting himself and his son to San Diego, paying for the required ten-day stay, and meeting the deductibles will cost him about $12,000. In addition, the estimated cost of rehabilitation brings the total bill to about $50,000, depending on the surgery outcome.
Despite facing the horrors of personal debility, Chris’s primary concern is for the welfare of his son, who is just now entering his senior year in high school. Chris is all the young man has, and he wants desperately to be there to see him graduate: from school, into manhood, and, with god’s blessing, into building a family of his own. Such are the humble hopes of a man who never had anyone there for him as a child, a man who wanted to be there for his country, a man committed to saving kids from abuse, a man who has faced repeated hardship and never runaway… except once.
If you are able, we would appreciate any financial donations we can receive during this hardship. We also ask for a multitude of prayers for Chris. God bless.
Silicon Valley Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 52 is proud to support Chris Hardin