Community members have been stepping up to help a Leesburg Police officer recovering from emergency brain surgery.
Lt. George Cumberledge suffered a stroke while coaching a soccer game Aug. 20. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors discovered two large masses on the left side of his brain and he underwent emergency surgery. Once he has recovered from both the surgery and the impacts of the stroke, he is expected to begin radiation and immunotherapy treatments.
Tim Ortwein worked with Cumberledge while the two were both employed with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Now a financial crimes investigator in upstate New York, Ortwein stayed in touch with his friend over the years and sprang into action upon learning of Cumberledge’s medical challenges. He began organizing a GoFundMe through the Loudoun Dulles Fraternal Order of Police Foundation to benefit Cumberledge and his family, which includes wife Erin, a local teacher, and five children who are in Loudoun County Public Schools.
“George is one of those guys who has always given 110%,” Ortwein said. “Every time I needed help I reached out to George. He’s got a great family, five kids, and I know what law enforcement salaries in Northern Virginia are. You’re not breaking the lottery there.”
Ortwein also mentioned Cumberledge’s community-first attitude. He coaches youth soccer, volunteers at his church, and is even a dog trainer, in addition to doting on his family.
The goal of the GoFundMe, which at press time had raised more than $33,000, is to get Cumberledge to retirement, for which he is eligible at some point in 2022, Ortwein said. The funds may also be used for some short-term expenses, like repairing the family’s front stoop and possibly adding a ramp to accommodate Cumberledge when he returns to his Leesburg home. Cumberledge was also recently gifted an iPad so he can communicate with his children while he remains hospitalized.
“George always looks out for the other guy first. That’s the hard thing to see here,” Ortwein said. “I can’t imagine what he’s going through in rehab. He’d rather be out coaching soccer than focusing on himself.”
Police Chief Gregory Brown issued a statement in support of his officer.
“Lt. George Cumberledge is not merely just our coworker, but to many at the Leesburg Police Department he is also a friend, a brother and a mentor. George, on behalf of your LPD family, we miss you and we are praying for a speedy recovery,” Brown stated.
To contribute to GoFundMe.com.