Lifestyle & Human Interest

Nurse with Terminal Cancer Fulfills Dream of Going on Ride-Along: 'I Have Unending Gratitude for Cops'


Stephanie Anderson, a former nurse from Eagan, Minnesota, has terminal cancer and is determined to make the most of her remaining days.

Anderson, who has a deep level of respect and gratitude for police officers, wanted to participate in a ride-along with her local police department.

She put the word out on Facebook, explaining that one of her bucket list items was to ride in a patrol car, and the St. Paul police department eagerly extended an offer.

“It sounds hokey, but I have this unending gratitude for the cops,” Anderson told KMSP-TV. “I think the cops do a job not many people are willing to do or would rather b—- about than do.”

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It has been four years since Anderson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She now has tumors in her brain, spine and lungs.

Chemotherapy proved ineffective, and doctors gave Anderson roughly six to 12 months left to live.

Anderson has chosen to focus on the silver lining of such a devastating diagnosis.

“If it wasn’t for the cancer, I wouldn’t have time to be sitting here doing these things,” Anderson said. “If it wasn’t for the cancer, I wouldn’t be able to be at home and helping take care of the grandbabies.”

Anderson joined St. Paul police officer Te Yang for a day filled with driving around the city, experiencing the sights and sounds of a day in the life of an officer.

“I feel lucky,” Yang said. “It’s an honor to be chosen to be part of her bucket list, to show her the city — show her the different parts she wants to see. I’m more than welcome to take her along.”

Saint Paul Chief of Police Todd Axtell echoed Yang’s sentiment, writing on Twitter, “We were honored to provide Stephanie a front-row seat into the great work our officers do every day. Stephanie will continue to be in our hearts and prayers during her courageous battle.”

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Anderson was thrilled with the experience, and rather than cross the item off her bucket list, she plans to keep it as a repeat item.

“I’ll do it again,” Anderson said. “I’ll definitely do it again. It was fun.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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