Hero Down: Pensacola Police Officer Stephen Grogan Dies From Rare Brain Cancer
Gulf Breeze, FL – Pensacola Police Department (PPD) Officer Stephen Grogan died on Tuesday morning following a lengthy battle with a rare form of brain cancer.
The 34-year-old officer was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in 2017.
“We were hopeful,” the PPD said in a Facebook post. “We wanted nothing more than for our brother to get well and re-join us on the street. We needed his insight, his humor, and most of all, for him to tell us how he beat cancer.”
“It was not to be. On Tuesday morning, February 25th, Officer Stephen Grogan lost his fight with Glioblastoma,” the department said. “Because of his positive outlook and downright stubbornness, he lived longer than most. But not nearly long enough.”
Prior to his career in law enforcement, Officer Grogan spent seven years serving as a U.S. Marine Corps captain, the PPD said.
He and his wife, Christina, who is also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, later moved to the Pensacola area with their firstborn son.
“He landed a safe, well-paying, white-collar job that would be the envy of any young man with a family,” the PPD said. “The kind of job where folks don’t call you bad names and you don’t wear other people’s bodily fluids home. But something kept gnawing at him. He just felt that he had more to offer.”
The son of a law enforcement officer, he ultimately “made the decision that he wanted to continue to serve his country and community as a police officer,” according to his department. “He approached his new job with zeal and a great sense of duty, coupled with aspirations to make this new public servant job a lifelong career.”
Within one year of being out on patrol on his own, Officer Grogan began experiencing debilitating headaches.
“At merely 31 years of age, Officer Grogan was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a rare form of aggressive and recurring brain cancer,” the PPD explained. “Without treatment, the expected survival rate for this form of cancer was less than three months. Even with treatment, the outlook was bleak, with people commonly surviving only about a year and very few people surviving five years or longer.”
Hundreds of friends, family members, citizens and fellow officers rallied around Officer Grogan as he battled cancer for the next several years.
He underwent brain surgery and chemotherapy, but was only able to return to the streets briefly before he experienced seizures that ultimately placed him in an administrative position.
“He accepted this new job assignment without complaint, making the best of his desk job and approaching his duties with his usual positive attitude,” the PPD said. “Officer Grogan was still committed to serving within the police department.”
He and his wife welcomed their second son as he was continuing to undergo his cancer treatments.
“Hundreds of you came out to fundraisers, donated money, bought hats, and sent encouragement,” the PPD said. “Stephen and Christina were able to make years of memories with their sons because of your generosity. We cannot thank you enough for that.”
Officer Grogan passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side at approximately 7 a.m. on Tuesday, the department said in a press release.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of Officer Grogan’s passing this morning,” Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said in the release. “It was truly an honor to know him, and to witness his dedication to his family and service to the City of Pensacola. Our hearts are grieving this tremendous loss along with Officer Grogan’s family, the Pensacola Police Department, and the entire community.”
The Pensacola Fraternal Order of Police established a fundraising campaign to help Officer Grogan and his family throughout his courageous battle.
“Stephen was a dedicated father, husband, and son, who wrung more living out of this last year than many do in a lifetime,” the PPD said. “Stephen, we have the watch. Rest easy.”
Officer Grogan will be laid to rest on March 5, according to his obituary.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pensacola Police Department Officer Stephen Grogan, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.