Toms River, NJ - New Jersey Correction Officer Joe Graf, age 38, headed in to work on Monday, September 25, like any other day.
Only this time, it was different. As Correction Officer Graf got out of his vehicle upon arriving at work, he passed out.
When he came to, he walked into the Wagner youth facility, with obvious facial and head injuries.
His wife, Kelly Graf, says that he was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, where tests were done, including a quick CT scan of his head.
He began vomiting and having severe 'cardiac complications', and was transferred to the ICU, where he was stabilized.
More testing was done, and doctors found a "fairly large brain tumor that is suspicious in nature."
Correction Officer Graf was transferred to Robert Wood University Hospital for further treatment.
He started a grueling combination of chemotherapy and radiation on Monday, October 16. His doctors are hopeful that both will shrink the tumor, so they can go in and remove it, if it's possible.
Kelly said that the tumor is a stage 2, low grade primary, that has infiltrated certain areas of the brain.
He will have 47 days of chemo and then five to six weeks of radiation. An MRI will then be done after 30 days to see of anything had changed.
Correction Officer Graf had wanted to be a police officer since he was a kid. He took the Civil Service Exam five years, and finally received a call in February offering him a job as a Correction Officer.
Kelly told Blue Lives Matter that he had never been happier, and this happened. She said it's hard for him, in his new role, to be getting help instead of helping others.
Kelly works as a hairdresser, but has had to take time off to care for her husband and their two daughters, ages 16 and 11. Both are active in their school, the 16-year-old with high school dance, the the 11-year-old with softball.
Her boss at DJ's Salon, has given her time off as needed, but she still can't get paid for time she's not working.
Kelly said that support for her husband has been overwhelming, and that he remains "focused".
She said that it's been really hard for him, and that he continues to tell her to have faith.
Kelly added that Correction Officer Graf is home now, and that his spirits have been low. She said that if anyone could send a card to him that it would mean so much to him.
Cards can be sent to Correction Officer Joe Graf, in care of Kelly Graf, DJ's Salon, 1182 Fischer Blvd., Toms River, NJ 08753.
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