Detective Fernandez first became involved with the Special Olympics during a torch run in 2010. Since that time he has supported the program by volunteering and leading projects with the organization ranging from the Firetruck Pull to the Jackalope Jump. During the course of this work, Detective Fernandez befriended Shae’lee Dial who is wheelchair bound. With hard work and dedication she has won numerous medals at the Special Olympics.
In November of 2016 Shae’lee went to Children’s Hospital for a routine surgery and was found to have a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Since her diagnosis, Shae’lee has undergone several surgeries. Detective Fernandez, inspired to help his friend, led a campaign to raise money for Shae’lee’s medical bills. Detective Fernandez reached out to other first responders including the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Cheyenne AMR, the Laramie County Combined Communications Center, District One Fire, Cheyenne Fire, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department and the Wyoming State Parks Officers with a fundraiser to assist Shae’lee.
In two weeks, members of these agencies pledged any money gained from their overtime to go towards Shae’lee’s bills. In the two weeks, they were able to raise over $800 in addition to over $4,000 raised on her Gofundme page. Along with the money, Detective Fernandez presented Shae’lee with a shadowbox displaying patches of the agencies who helped support the effort. Law enforcement across the world has been, and will continue to be, considered the Guardians of the Flame for Special Olympic Athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities. Detective Fernandez exemplifies this guardianship and we’re proud to have him working alongside us at the Cheyenne Police Department.
If the public would like to donate to Shae’Lee Dial’s fight against cancer, her Gofundme page can be accessed at https://www.gofundme.com/fight-with-shaelee-2wgq6g4