Port Officer in a Fight for his Life

OZAUKEE PRESS | Kristyn Halbig Zeihm
Fellow cops, family plan fundraisers to help Gary Belzer as he battles an insidious disease that has turned his life on end and left him in need of a new liver
As a Port Washington police officer, Gary Belzer lives by the motto “To Serve and Protect.”
But he has adopted a new motto as well: “Donate Life,” to promote blood and organ donation.

It’s a cause that is close to Belzer, his wife Kristin and sons Colton, 14, and Gavin, 12, because last June Belzer was placed on the liver transplant list. 

“I’m hoping that this situation gets the word out on organ donation,” Belzer said. “I feel this is part of my calling as a police officer now — if I can express this need and one or two people decide to donate, I know I did my job.”

Belzer has non-alcoholic cirrhosis hepatitis, aka NASH, which has destroyed roughly three-quarters of his liver.

The disease has caused numerous health issues for Belzer since he was diagnosed in 2015. In addition to liver failure, his spleen is enlarged. He’s had a number of operations, and has suffered complications each time, has iron infusions every other week and is scheduled for his fourth hernia surgery in two weeks — hernias are a complication of the disease. Continue reading

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