Selfless committment to service
“I feel like I have to go to work every day, I feel like I have to be there. I have a responsibility.”
That’s what Benton County Sheriff Steven Keane told Herald reporter Tyler Richardson last week during an interivew at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center a few days before Christmas. Despite having surgery to remove more than a foot of his large intestine and being left painfully nauseous for days by the chemo, Keane has missed little work.
Keane, twice elected sheriff since 2010, keeps his iPhone handy when he undergoes several hours of treatment every other week for stage 3 colon cancer, and emails, calls and texts help him stay connected to the day-to-day happenings at the sheriff’s office.
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Keane was diagnosed Aug. 6 and underwent surgery Aug. 21. He was back at work a few days later although doctors told Keane they were confident they removed all of the cancer during surgery. He would still have to spend the next six months doing chemotherapy. He also learned that there is a 40 percent chance the cancer could return.
The sheriff, who is now more than halfway done with his chemo, usually goes into the office early in the morning and works from home later in the afternoon.
The diagnosis hasn’t changed Keane’s outlook, he said. He has always relied on his faith, family and optimistic attitude to get through life’s struggles.
A role model for all of us, young and old. Thumbs up to you, Steve. Thank you for your selfless dedication to service and for sharing your story.
Purple Heart awarded
Thumbs up and congratulations to Connell Police Sargent Shane Thorson, who, a decade after being injured in a mortar atttack while stationed at a military base in Iraq, is being awarded a Purple Heart.
In 2005, Thorson deployed with the XVIII Airborne Corps and was stationed at the Logistics Support Area base Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. He was part of a platoon of about 30 soldiers, called a quick reactionary force, acting as first responders and doing reconnaissance to keep others safe during missions. One day before heading out on a mission, Thorson was checking vehicles for proper supplies when mortars struck.
The explosions knocked him out, broke his wrist, tore up an elbow and injured the c3 and c4 vertebrae in his neck.
It took months for Thorson to recover physically and mentally.
In April 2008, Thorson was again deployed to the same base in Iraq where he was injured.
“I said to myself, ‘I win. I’m not defeated,’ ” he said in a Tri-City Herald interview.
Thorson, now retired from the military, has served on the Kennewick police force, Connell police force and will soon join the Franklin County Sheriff’s department as a patrolman.