FOR THE BENEFIT OF JULIET: Retired detective battles cancer for sixth time

Juliet Richardson has been battling bad guys most of her life.

Richardson, 65, was an officer with Albemarle Police Department for many years before an accident in 2000 forced her to retire.

“I was picking up my grandson at daycare and this guy came around the corner,” said Richardson, who retired as a detective. “I had just got him in the vehicle and I was getting ready to get in. It hit my car in the back, knocked me down and my foot got caught between the wheel and the sidewalk.”

The incident led to eight surgeries, which helped save her right foot.

But unlike the people she encountered as an officer, there is one bad dude that just will not leave her alone.

Cancer.

She has survived cancer five times. She had bouts in 2006, 2015, 2017, 2021 and 2022.

She continues to battle sarcoma, a tumor that happens in bones and soft tissues.

“I’ve been dealing with this type of cancer I have, this sarcoma, since 2017,” Richardson said. “It started out in my right foot.”

That’s the same foot from the car accident.

She has been having CT scans every three months. These scans detected a spot in her back one time and one in her pelvis area another. The next scan showed a nodule around her lungs.

She is currently receiving 24-hour chemo every 21 days at Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte.

In addition to the cancer, back in November of last year she started getting a cramp in her left leg from her thigh to her toes.

“If I stood up I would fall backwards,” she said. “I’ve fallen about five different times because of my leg cramping up.”

Doctors have not been able to find a reason for it, she said.

She has been using a walker or wheelchair, being receiving physical therapy and has had 24-7 care. But she has been able to stay in her own home.

“God has put some good people in my life,” she said.

Richardson said hospital and doctor bills are mounting.

So her son came up with the idea of doing a benefit for his mom.

A benefit is planned for 5:30 p.m. April 13 at Saints Delight Church, 520 Wall St., Albemarle. Choirs and quartet groups have been invited to perform.

Hot fish and chicken sandwiches will also be sold beginning at noon behind the church.

“Continue being the champion you are,” Caleb Hyatt of Rock Hill said in encouraging his mother. “There is not a fight nor battle I’ve seen you forfeit or lose. We love you, Mama.”

If Richardson sounds familiar to readers of The Stanly News & Press, it is because she was a community correspondent for South Albemarle for about 20 years, up until she felt she could not handle it with her cancer.

“I enjoyed doing it and miss doing it,” she said.

Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael called her “a compassionate, caring lady.

“She cares deeply for family, church and community. This caring is why she was such a good police officer,” Michael said.

Michael was police chief when Richardson retired.

“When Juliet was forced to retire due to an automobile accident, it was a sad day for the police department, because we lost a very professional and caring detective,” he said. “Even after her retirement, Juliet has continued to be involved with our retired police officers and is always there to support our active police officers today.”

B.J. Drye is general manager/editor of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-982-2123.