When the Saco Police Department came together last October to do an annual Pink Patch campaign for breast cancer awareness, they had no idea that only a few short months later one of their own would be diagnosed with it.
Officer Amanda Condon is a School Resource Office (SRO) for the Saco School Department’s Prek through middle school students which includes five schools: Governor John Fairfield School, Young School, C K Burns School, Saco School Pre-Kindergarten, and Saco Middle School. According to her colleagues, she embodies the best qualities of a female leader and role model. She is a part of the Armed Services as Air Force Reservist, as well as a Police Officer. Strong roles that she approaches with her own spirit and personality – a challenge she takes on with a sense of humor, an empathetic heart, and caring smile.
As a member of the community, Officer Condon also participated actively in the Pink Patch Project at the police department and at her schools before finding out that she was diagnosed this past November.
In her role as a SRO, Officer Condon is an employee of the Saco Police Department serving both as a police officer in the force putting in hours on holidays and weekend shifts in addition to other community involvement, she also spends the school hours as an important part of the lives of the young students she serves in Saco’s schools.
“She has been an amazing part of our community,” said Rachel Hasty, School Counselor for Saco Middle School in a statement she provided along with colleagues at Saco Middle School. “Last year she was directing the distribution of meals to the families in the community. She has been present for in-school and outside of school activities and this has really allowed students to get to know her in a variety of different ways.”
Known for her ability to provide both a sense of security and comfort to the students she works with, Officer Condon is that happy face they look forward to seeing at school, some even getting the chance to spend extra time with her as a reward.
“She connects with students as a person, and not just an authority figure,” added Hasty. “People like her and gravitate towards her kindness and sincerity.”
A couple years ago she brought a lot of awareness to the Wreaths Across America project, when she participated in it herself. It was very inspirational and heartwarming for the Saco community, and it started a great conversation with students who had more questions.
Since being diagnosed, Officer Condon has had to take a step back from her jobs and community involvement, leaving a hole felt by many.
The Saco Police Department recently organized a police convoy in support of her fight against cancer. The convoy involved a drive by parade filled with police vehicles and flashing blue lights from six different local police departments that all drove by the window where she was getting chemo treatment. The convoy was in lieu of being able to go in and see her in-person since visitors are limited in health care facilities these days, a measure that helps protect patients from the spread of COVID-19.
As she started losing her hair from the treatment, the Saco Police Department wanted to continue showing their love and support for her so 25 members of the force shaved their heads in a touching event that brought tears to the eyes of everyone involved (group picture featured above). Her team didn’t want her to be the only one without hair during a time that is already challenging enough.
The school has also tried to find ways to support their beloved SRO. “Taking her lead, we have continued to advertise the Pink Patch Project and have been helping to raise money and awareness about this cause that affects her and our entire community. We wanted to continue her work, not just for her but to support her family and to help continue the positive impact she has had in our community.”
Her presence as an officer, active community member, and leader at the school has a grace that touches the lives of everyone she meets. Officer Condon’s family says that since being diagnosed the outpouring of love from the school, the police department, and the community is an example of the impact her character has had on the people she serves.
“If you want to find the silver lining in something terrible, it’s finding how great your community is,” said a close family member of Officer Condon.
While she is undergoing chemotherapy, among other routine treatments to fight the disease, her family, friends, and community continue to rally in support. They are very hopeful that she will pull through and join them once again as the active and loving community member they so dearly miss.
Information for this article was provided by Officer Condon’s family and Saco Middle School as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.