Help a Hero: Cancer sidelines officer/self-defense instructor, but he is not out of the fight just yet

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Allow us to take a moment to introduce you to Jeff Mitchum. He is a 23-year veteran of law enforcement as well as a small business owner, opening Tactical Yeti in 2020.

Mitchum opened the business to teach permit-to-carry and comprehensive pistol-based self-defense skills utilizing constitutional rights to self-defense.

Sadly, almost a year ago, Jeff was dealt a blow that so many of us pray we never have to take. 

“Unfortunately, in October 2022, my life took an unexpected turn. What I initially thought was a kidney stone turned out to be a severe infection and inflammation that caused my large intestine to rupture,” Jeff wrote on his Help a Hero campaign page.

“After enduring two surgeries, including one that lasted over 3.5 hours instead of the scheduled hour, I spent 16 days in the hospital.

Shortly after, I faced another setback when an abscess formed within my abdominal muscle wall. In December 2022, I received the devastating diagnosis of rectal cancer, which stemmed from the prior infection and inflammation.”

His health issues have taken a toll on him in more ways than just physical. Along with the emotional, mental and spiritual impacts, it has also led to limiting his ability to work, the amount of overtime he can put in as well as a major decrease in the time he has to dedicate to keep Tactical Yeti operational.

“Throughout this challenging journey, I have remained resilient. Despite the physical and emotional toll, I have completed eight grueling chemotherapy treatments as well as 28 radiation treatments,” he continued.

“However, the cumulative side effects have made it increasingly difficult for me to continue working both as a law enforcement officer and in my small business. The side effects have been miserable and cumulative, hindering my ability to fulfill my duties and sustain my business.”

Jeff was scheduled to have surgery to remove the tumor on August 10th. Just prior to that surgery, a CT scan and MRI both revealed a lesion on his liver.

As such, the surgery was postponed. Doctor’s performed a biopsy on August 11th. Jeff is still waiting for the results of that procedure.

Jeff is dealing with not only the physical aspects of his illness, but the financial impacts as well.

Regarding the financial hardship, Mitchem said, “In addition to the physical and emotional struggles, I now find myself facing financial strain. As someone who has always worked overtime and taken on part-time jobs when necessary, it pains me to admit that I am unable to work due to the debilitating side effects of my treatment. This has made it extremely difficult to cover my mounting medical bills and monthly expenses. Despite short-term disability benefits through my job, the financial burden continues to grow.”

That is why a Help a Hero campaign was launched. Click here to contribute to Jeff’s campaign goal.

But even if you cannot, we welcome everyone to join the Law Enforcement Today family in lifting Jeff, his family, his health and his doctors up in prayer. Pray for healing, for comfort, for financial relief and for his emotional and mental state of mind.

Help a Hero is a fundraising platform built for the heroes in our communities. Whether it’s your neighbor down the street or an international organization in need, we’re here to help.

Help A Hero was born out of necessity. Too often, first responder work is dangerous. In working with law enforcement groups, our developers came up with a hyper secure online fundraising platform deployable within hours.

Over time, knowing every minute counts during crisis, we developed this self-service product to respond even faster to critical fundraising needs.
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The opinions reflected in this article are not necessarily the opinions of LET
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