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(KTVI) A former law enforcement officer who fought crime for 25 years is now fighting an even bigger battle.

Last fall, days after he resigned from his post as chief of the Northwoods Police Department, Earl Heitzenroeder was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Stage 4 brain cancer.

Family and friends are hoping to raise awareness and financial support for Heitzenroeder, as his medical bills are mounting.

“He’s always been the one to protect everyone else, to help everyone else. So, it is time for him to step back and let other people do things for him,” Heitzenroeder’s sister, Kathryn said.

The former chief has been through radiation, steroid medications and chemotherapy, his sister said. While the treatments have helped some, the side effects have been significant, including blood clots, making it difficult for Heitzenroeder to move at times.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Heitzenroeder.