After 21 Years Working to Make a Difference Trooper Renee Padgett Fights for Her Life
Renee Padgett is a 21 year veteran with the Washington State Patrol who was recently diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer. When you ask her why she got into law enforcement she says remembers wanting to be a police officer from a very young age. She fulfilled her lifelong dream in March of 1991 when she became a Trooper. For the past 15 years she has served as the King County State Patrols wrecking yard inspector. She has been so much more to the State Patrol and the community she works in than just a public servant.
Renee is currently assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Division business inspections. Her duties include inspecting licensed wrecking yards in King County and locating illegal wrecking yards and part sales in the county. One of her biggest accomplishments was shutting down Japanese Auto Wrecking. This was a wrecking yard that was dumping gas and other fluids into the ground in Kent. The dumping was so bad that the Federal Government was called in and the location was treated as a super fund cleanup site. After Renee shut that business down the owner moved to Hwy 99 and opened another yard. In the end the owner was arrested and served jail time as well as paid huge fines.
Another one of her accomplishments was a POPS Project called “Curbstoning”. The issue was individual were buying previously wrecked cars from auction and then putting them back together in the least expensive way they could and then sell them to the public who had no idea they were previously wrecked. Some of the cars found had no air bags, had the frames welded together and various other unsafe conditions. The Project created a pamphlet that is in DOL offices and the inspection lanes for VIN verification to warn people about potential curbstoned vehicles. A poster for the Project is hanging in my office.
The Homeward Bound program was started by Renee in 2006 as a Problem Oriented Public Safety (POPS) project. While on maternity leave Renee was driving in traffic and thinking about how terrible it would be to have a missing child. Looking at the blank sides of semi trailers inspired her to begin a POPS project that would add posters of missing children to semi trailers that would increase public awareness of missing children cases. In 2007 the Homeward Bound program was transferred to the Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit as a tool to be used in missing person investigations.
Renee is a very self motivated trooper who loves her job and is very good at what she does. She is very professional and treats people fairly.
Although Renee has a love for working out her first love is by far her two young children. As the mother of Gedeon, 10 years old, and Olivia, 7 years old, Renee has prioritized quality time with family bike rides and hikes to Honey Creek. With her current treatment, life at home is not what it used to be. Gedeon said the thing he misses most are the family bike rides that for now are just not possible. Raising money for treatment will not only help the family get by but bring back the life they love and the activities they miss.
In May of 2012 Renee was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Multiple Myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow.
Renee has always been a role model for others with her active lifestyle. Her work friends are so surprised by this diagnosis. When you tell someone about what’s happening the first thing you always hear is, "How can this be happening? She works out and has always been so healthy."
She was hospitalized from May 17th - June 1st. During that time she had a procedure on her spine called vertebroplasty where they injected cement into 4 of her vertebrae that had collapsed. This was life changing as it virtually took away all of her pain. While in the hospital she began radiation treatment that focused on her spine and an illiac mass behind her right hip. Her treatment will included at least 4 cycles of chemo, 8 radiation treatments, and finally two (2) stem cell transplants.
Renee has reduced kidney function as a result of her condition making her high risk for the upcoming, but life saving treatment. To monitor her progress she will spend up to 3 months in the UW hospital for her first stem cell transplant this fall.
Although we have learned a lot about what will be involved with Renee's treatment, many things are still unknown. We do know that, aside from the changes to her family life, she will have extended time off of work. The total cost for treatment that will not be covered by insurance will be compounded by the loss of income.
Those who wish to assist in the fund raising efforts can safely donate to Renee at gofundme.com. By typing Trooper Renee or Renee Padgett into the search you can read current progress in Renee’s condition and help to save her life.