BROOMFIELD, Colo. — It’s not every day you see a police officer panhandling on a corner, but Officer Carolyn Becker is doing just that, hoping to raise $20,000 for a unique cause.
Last August, Becker donated a portion of her liver to an 11-year-old Colorado boy whose liver was failing.
The boy’s insurance paid for Becker’s portion of the surgery, but not his own.
“I found out that his family owes $20,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. They had tried a fundraiser for themselves and wasn’t very successful. So I figured there was more I could do to help them,” she said.
Becker decided to get creative. She made a sign and went to street corners near her home in Firestone.
“I decided to hold a sign on the side of the road and essentially panhandle to try and raise money for him, which can be a nice way to do it because people can ask questions. They pull over, I’ve shown people pictures and had conversations with people out there,” she said.
The fundraising, however, is slow, with Becker only raising $400 so far.
She’s hoping to pay for the boy’s entire surgery through a GoFundMe account.
In March, the boy sent Becker a letter in the mail, thanking her for her generosity.
“He wrote, ‘Dear donor, thank you so much for my new chance at life. I never could imagine this happening. Now I can excel in school. I have no more itching and jaundice, and I can be more normal. I would like to meet you in person one day if possible. Forever grateful,'” Becker said.
She’s hoping her story can inspire others to become living organ donors as well.
“I’m a police officer, but I’m a regular person. I’m fortunate enough to be healthy and had the support from my family to be able to do this. I think a lot of people could too,” Becker said.