MPD Lieutenant, veteran faces rare Stage 4 cancer diagnosis

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee police lieutenant has seen hundreds of homicide cases and has seen danger while serving overseas -- but now, he's facing death in a way he never imagined. MPD Lt. Chris Blaszak has been diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer.

44-year-old Chris Blaszak is a loving husband and father, and he's served 22 years with MPD -- as a homicide detective and lieutenant.

This past summer, he talked with FOX6 News about ShotSpotter -- technology used to track gunfire.

Blaszak has been on sick leave for weeks now -- recovering from surgeries to his face, after what Blaszak thought was an infected wisdom tooth turned out to be Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the mandible.

The cancer and surgeries have taken away Blaszak's ability to shave, but haven't taken away Blaszak's sense of humor.

"Some people were joking that I looked like that character Tom Hanks played in Castaway. People getting me a Wilson ball so I'd have someone to talk to," Blaszak said.

Blaszak says his cancer is rare for someone his age, and is normally diagnosed in people who are heavy smokers or heavy drinkers.

"I'm neither of those," Blaszak said.

"It's a shock to everybody," Blaszak's cousin, Delanie Ford set up a fundraising webpage to help the family deal with the costs insurance won't cover and the income cancer has taken away from Blaszak's family.

"This fundraiser for me was a no brainier because they would do it for any of us," Ford said.

"It's humbling. It's overwhelming," Blaszak said.

Overwhelming could describe the surgeries to remove the tumor and infected tissues, the bone taken from Blaszak's leg to graft to his face, and the post-surgical emergency that nearly took his life.

"I have plenty to complain about, but there's always someone who has it worse," Blaszak said.

Flanked by family, the man who wasn't taken down by the Taliban when he was serving in Afghanistan in the military, and the former homicide detective who wasn't intimidated by murderers plans to survive yet another danger.

"I'm going to keep plowing forward because that is the right thing to do," Blaszak said.

Blaszak is in the process of considering chemo and radiation therapy.

A fundraiser is planned for May 3rd at Kelly's Bleachers in Milwaukee.

"Battle for Blazo" GoFundMe Fundraising Page

"Battle for Blazo" Facebook page


  • Edward J Fleury

    I now the feeling well, having just gone through the removal of my esophagus, stomach and part of my duodenum. On Feb 5, I had my surgery, they took all of my esophagus, 4/5th of my stomach and part of my duodenum. They then took the remainder of my stomach and created a new esophagus, and formed a new stomach from part of my duodenum. Then I was ordered not to swallow anything for 22 days. After that I had a barium swallow esophagram. Having passed that, I can finally swallow water and clear liquids. There’s cancer in some lymph nodes, so there will be more chemo and radiation in my future, but I am still here. So good luck guy, keep positive and keep fighting. Former checker from the fighting FIFTH.

  • Tutu

    Try using termaric and morainga pls read about this two natural cure. I know it will help a lot there are so money ppl using these products. stay s
    Strong. Prayers

  • jaypee

    Couldn’t get my mind around the numerous – cures, recipes, spices, herbs, concoctions, meditations, group therapy sessions, don’t eat this, don’t drink that, don’t go in the sun, don’t go into the sea, drink filtered water, no tea no coffee no milk no sugar no fruit no beer – sugars supposedly feed cancer – animal fat and meat feeds big C – so now all protien is out of order – wheat and most other carbohydrates are supposedly out of order! Seemingly DRY RED WINE is OK! So as I have no wish to die a thin starved man eating some vegetables – even some of these require avoidance – This along with the numerous do’s and dont’s the big QUESTION is what does one do? – (In my case it was in the bladder, cancer removed and treatment done – results thankfully clear). The treatment was tough as I chose to do it without sedation. So one goes off and pontificates a bit and so – Well – I’ll tell you what I did. Checked on Google – insisted on X-Ray and scans – all OKAY – If I may say – IT WAS A CRAZY THING TO DO! WHY you may ask? Firstly let me say that this process, along with two hospitalised checks
    which were clear had me in limbo, to put into perspective, I was fiddling! It was now that I started THINKING FOR MYSELF, thinking for myself were words that I had learned from being a LIFELINE Counsellor for some quite few years (thank you LIFELINE). This is 8 months down the line from diagnosis, not quite 65 then. So what does one do? Easy – carry on as normal, allow oneself to be treated as normal, live your life as normal. Accept hospitalised checks and/or treatment as part of your life.. DO NOT seek sympathy, accept empathy. For sure there are some very agressive types of C, and late diagnosis of C, which may curtail life with a speed that loved ones as well as the sufferer have difficulty handling. Although I do know very well that a cousin of mine was in finality and bore it Very bravely – so to did his wife who was supportive in the extreme to the end. Cheers Pieter.
    These are my humble thoughts and views on C – make no mistake I am no expert on the subject of cancer. I have no wish to be such! My Urologist once said to me – your medical aid pays me worry about and look after you. So I came home live my life.
    For the last 4 years, the requirement has been hospitalised checks 3 times yearly. All clear I tell my family and friends and work colleauges.
    Carry on.
    The writer is now in his 71’st year working half day.
    And could well be doing the same in 2015!

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