Terminally ill nurse gets bucket list wish: a ride-along in a cop car

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A Minnesota woman with terminal cancer who spent her professional career taking care of others as a nurse found herself in the passenger seat of a cop car after her bucket list wish caught the eye of the St. Paul Police Department.

Stephanie Anderson wasn’t in trouble, rather the officers were simply helping her check off an item on her list: go for a ride-along.

“It was a blast,” Anderson, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago, told Fox 9. “I had a great time.”

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It all started on Aug. 20, when Anderson shared her diagnosis and wish on Facebook.

“As most of you know, I have a terminal diagnosis of cancer and am working on my bucket list,” she wrote. “One of those things I want to do is a ride along with the police department. Anyone out there have any suggestions for going about accomplishing things, I would be very grateful for suggestions.”

Less than three hours later, Anderson wrote that she had already had several police officers reach out to her about the wish, setting forth the motion that would land her in St. Paul Police Officer Te Yang’s patrol car last week.

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“I feel lucky,” Yang told Fox 9. “It’s an honor to be chosen to be a part of her bucket list to show her the city – show her the different parts she wants to see. I’m more than happy to take her along.”

Anderson also met another officer, Eric Reetz, who helped put the ride-along together and was there to answer any questions she had.

“These guys were awesome, answered my questions and didn’t even act like they were stupid questions,” she posted on Facebook the day after. “I am very grateful for their patience with me and very much looking forward to seeing them on Wed. when we go back out!”

Anderson said she was recently told that the tumors in her brain, spine and lungs had stopped responding to treatment, leaving her with six to 12 months to live. She told Fox 9 she is concentrated on one day at a time.

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“If it wasn’t for the cancer, I wouldn’t have time to be sitting here doing these things,” she told the news outlet. “If it wasn’t for the cancer, I wouldn’t be able to be at home and helping take care of my grandbabies.”

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