PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds are rallying around a local police officer battling an aggressive form of cancer.

A huge fundraiser was held Thursday night for West Mifflin K9 Officer James Pawling, who was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma.

He can’t work while undergoing intense chemotherapy, so loved ones and fellow officers formed a foundation to raise money for his family. Thursday’s event was held at the Westwood Golf Club.

West Mifflin Officer Dave Haines told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “When he came down with that sudden illness, it really hit home because we realized that could have been any one of us at that time.”

Pawling is a father of four boys, a football coach and a veteran patrolman who worked in McKees Rocks, Homestead and with the Pittsburgh School Police before coming to West Mifflin in 2003.

His wife, Kate, talked about the outpouring of support by law enforcement across the region.

“I feel such a safety net,” she said. “I have no worries other than to deal with what Jim’s going through and that’s nice. I don’t have to focus on anything but him and they’ve made that possible. “

There is a fund set up for Pawling through the Western Pennsylvania Police Benevolent Foundation.

If you would like to donate, visit their Facebook page at this link.

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