The Polk County community came out to say goodbye to a young deputy who lost a courageous battle with colon cancer last week.
Deputy Brad Rosenbauer worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for only three years, but his impact made it feel like three decades.
“It was in his blood,” said Det. Mark McCrey, who worked as Brad’s partner the whole time. “I’ve never known anybody who wanted to be a law enforcement officer more than Brad.”
For most of his time at the sheriff’s office Brad was fighting the cancer in between fighting crime.
It looked like he was winning the fight until the cancer returned for round two and ultimately took his life on Friday, March 24.
Brad posted a video on the sheriff’s office Facebook page before his condition deteriorated.
“Now I appreciate things more. I don’t let things get to me. It’s not worth it,” he said in the video.
Brad’s friends and colleagues rallied around the 37-year-old and so did the community.
His widow, Brittany, is expecting a baby boy this June.
“As Christians, that’s kind of our calling. To help out the widow and orphan,” said Matthew Glover, a friend of the family.
Glover and his wife started collecting diapers with another deputy’s wife in order to help out Brad’s family.
“The website has already been flooded with people who want to give diapers and cards and whatever they can to them,” he said.
By all accounts, Brad seemed to prepare his home and work families for what was coming.
In fact, during Tuesday’s funeral, a fellow deputy read a letter Brad wrote that wasn’t to be opened until the day he died.
“If you are reading this letter, it means I did not win my battle with colon cancer, but please don’t be sad for me,” the letter said. “Please continue to hold Brittany and my son in your thoughts and prayers. She is my hero and I could not have fought this battle like I did without her by my side each day…”
His wish was granted.
“Brittany and her son will always be apart of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office family. That’ll always be that way,” said McCrey.
More information about that fundraiser can be found here.