Hail to the Chief: Bravery While Living With Cancer


A retired police chief shares his story of living with terminal cancer.

Retired Astoria, Ore., Police Chief Rob DeuPree has been living with terminal colon cancer for more than five years. Under the care of the Renown Institute for Cancer, he’s had surgery, radiation and other treatments, including chemotherapy to stop the growth of his tumors and the spread of the disease to other organs.

He was recently invited to attend the Renown Institute for Cancer Tumor Board. The board is a multidisciplinary team made of up more than 40 medical professionals who deal with the treatment of cancer. They address individual cases, including DeuPree’s cancer.

“I have felt pretty comfortable about my treatment as it has gone along because I think I have wonderful physicians,” DeuPree says. “Knowing this is behind the scenes gives me even greater confidence in the work that Renown is doing. It’s just amazing.”


If a drug stopped working during the course of his treatment, doctors would try another. “What I’m told by the physicians is that there are plenty of drugs out there, and they are developing more of them every day,” he says. “So if one of these drugs doesn’t work, we’ll just try another drug.”

The drugs have caused DeuPree to lose his hair, gain weight and feel fatigued. Overall, however, he says he appreciates his quality of life and the special time he is able to spend with his wife, LaDean. 

“I am 73-years-old, I can’t really ask for more than that,” DeuPree says. “With the treatment I’m getting and the people that are associated with trying to make me stay alive, I’m not looking at much of a downside. My quality of life is great.”

Watch part one of Rob DeuPree’s cancer journey.