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By EMILY LOWE email@example.com, Nov 1, 2017 Updated Nov 1, 2017
NAMPA — Nampa Police Detective Corporal Angela Weekes received a go-ahead on Oct. 16 from her doctor to get back to performing the full range of her duties of helping victims of domestic violence at the Nampa Family Justice Center.
For the past two years, Weekes has been battling Stage 2 breast cancer.
Used to the occasional setback, Weekes became leery of getting too excited for her appointments to learn if she would be cleared to work full-duty at the center she pushed to create in 2005.
When she actually was cleared by her doctor, Weekes said she finally could get “a sense of getting my entire life back and moving past that part of my journey.”
About eight weeks ago, she had her last surgery. Though there has not been any sign of the cancer returning, she will continue to get checkups with her oncologist. If all goes well in November, those checkups, which occur every three months, will move to every six months.
For as well as she felt throughout her battle, she knew she might as well be doing something she enjoyed, so she continued to work nearly 40 hours each week at the Nampa Family Justice Center, where her true passion lies.
The Family Justice Center is a place for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse to come and receive help and resources during a difficult time. The center helps victims get counseling, sexual assault exams and even gas vouchers — whatever their needs are that need to be met.
Weekes is proud to be a part of the center, which continues to grow. Right now, Weekes said there are so many partners to the center that want to be on-site at the office, that there is not enough room for them all.
“It’s a good problem to have,” she said. “That many people want to serve the community.”
Weekes, who has now been with the Nampa Police Department for 23 years, was the only member of the department to push for the center, according to Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff.
Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury, former Nampa police chief, said Weekes has a “little bulldog work ethic” when it comes to investigations and is a great advocate for victims.
Kingsbury was Nampa’s police chief when Weekes was diagnosed with breast cancer. They have known each other for more than 20 years. He remembered when Weekes said she was going to continue to work during her treatments.
“It surprised me,” he said. “It’s one thing to say you’ll work through it as much as possible.”
But that wasn’t the case.
“She has never been Angela with cancer,” he said. “She has been Detective Weekes.”
GETTING BACK TO FULL DUTY
Though the center has many resources to help victims in the community, Weekes wasn’t able to perform all the aspects of her job during her cancer treatments.
Because of nine surgeries, two infections, chemotherapy and radiation within the last two years, she had to take precautions because of how easily she could get injured from her surgeries or catch infections when her immune system was low.
A gun now rests in its holster on her hip, and she can investigate the suspect part of the investigations now — something she couldn’t do before.
“I’m still here and plugging along,” she said.
PASSION FOR A DIFFICULT LINE OF WORK
Weekes said the support and service she received during her treatment for breast cancer is comparable to the support offered to victims at the justice center.
She described how the community, the Nampa Police Department, her church and her family were supportive throughout her two-year journey, and her goal is to give that same support to victims who come to the center.
For Weekes, if anyone can gain anything from her breast cancer diagnosis it’s that “if they’re struggling with a diagnosis themselves that I can give them hope there is life beyond that diagnosis.”
Weekes hopes that the center can give clients hope beyond the situation they find themselves in.
Her passion for this job is unlike many who find themselves in her line of work. For Weekes, she knows it’s what God put her on this earth to do.
Weekes said many people believed she was so strong for getting through cancer, but she said she had nothing to do with it.
“It’s God who carried me through that part of my journey,” she said. “My faith carried me through my cancer, and it carries me in the work I do.”
Posted on November 3, 2017 at 11:26 pm