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New year means new start for Fuhr

by Brian Walker
| December 31, 2010 8:00 PM

RATHDRUM - Rathdrum Police Chief Kevin Fuhr can't wait to get back to work.

Fuhr said he plans to return to work on Monday after battling sarcoma cancer in his left calf the past six months.

"Spending the past three weeks on the couch has just killed me," he said. "For a guy who rarely went to the doctor's office or missed work for being sick, this has been a huge experience."

Fuhr, 43, said he's been touched by the support of the community and city staff during the ordeal.

"Almost 3,000 people have visited my site," Fuhr said, referring to his story posted on the nonprofit CaringBridge website.

The experience has also brought him closer to his wife, Emily, and 10-year-old daughter Jordan.

"When you have a life-threatening illness, all of a sudden it puts things in perspective," Fuhr said.

"I have a different outlook on life."

The problem surfaced in June when Fuhr was at work.

"I felt a pain in my leg, then I went home and it was so intense that I ended up calling an ambulance," he said.

After he had surgery, cancer was discovered.

Fuhr underwent another surgery to remove cancer and dead tissue and has undergone both radiation and chemotherapy. He worked as much as he could from June to November between chemo sessions. However, the latest surgery, needed because of a problem with a wound, is keeping him off his feet for four weeks.

"This is the longest stretch where I haven't been at work," he said.

Only 1 percent of the patients diagnosed with cancer have sarcoma, which is found in the legs or arms and can migrate to the lungs.

"The chemo was needed to make sure it didn't spread to the chest," Fuhr said. "The radiation and chemo are now all done, so, at this point, I'm just waiting for my leg to heal up so I can put weight on it before going back to work."

Fuhr said he'll need to have his chest and leg examined every three months to ensure the cancer hasn't returned.

Fuhr was appointed Rathdrum's chief in February 2007, replacing Bob Moore who retired after 30 years. Fuhr was named Professional of the Year by the Rathdrum Chamber of Commerce in September.

He serves as vice president of the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, chairman of the North Idaho College Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, a member of the FBI National Academy Associates and as a Rotarian.

Fuhr in September received the executive certificate from Idaho's POST Academy, the highest certificate awarded to peace officers, for completing 100 hours of executive-level training.

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