Officer Frank Razzaia may fight crime as a member of the Wilton Police Department, but now he’s fighting for his life. I’m hoping you’ll help him win the battle.
Diagnosed with stage-three lymphoma this past spring, the 29-year-old Stamford native immediately took a leave from the force to focus solely on his health. Bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments since then have taken their toll—financially, emotionally and physically.
“I have a three-year-old, a two-year-old and another on the way, so I know what it’s like to be tired! But this is a different kind of fatigue. I thought I’d be tired but able to move on. But it’s the kind of fatigue where you just can’t get out of bed for days,” said Razzaia.
When his fellow officers heard the tough news, WPD Detective Christopher Isidro said everyone’s first thought was, “How can we help Frank?”
“As friends we all tried to get to Frank right away to let him know he had our support in any way that we possibly could help him. We’re a fraternal organization—we rallied around Frank because he is our family, he is our brother.”
One major way Det. Isidro and other members of the are helping is by organizing a fundraiser event this Thursday evening, Sept. 13, 6-10 p.m., at Ponus Yacht Club in Stamford. They are selling tickets for $30 apiece, and the event includes dinner, draft beer, raffle drawings and auctions.
“We’ve had a lot of ticket purchases from the community, and donations to the PBA to make sure Frank gets whatever help he needs. It’s going to help him out directly. He’s been out of work—he can’t work the extra duty jobs, the extra shifts that help him take care of his family,” Isidro explained.
In fact, Razzaia’s family is growing—very rapidly. His wife is nine months pregnant with their third child, and she’s due any day. Because of his chemotherapy, they have had to spend much time apart, for the health of his wife and his children, as well as his own. “That’s very difficult and stressful for them,” said Isidro.
Stress and fatigue takes its toll, but still you can’t help but notice how strong Ofc. Razzaia is in the face of that—especially to hear him talk about how very excited he is about the upcoming addition to his family.
“It will be my first daughter!” There's a smile in his voice. “Things like that, it certainly helps to know that’s coming up. There’s positive things going on that are able to counter some of the negative.”
The community has definitely started to step up to take part in the fundraiser to support Razzaia.
“Many people and business have been so helpful,” said Isidro. “ has been fantastic, they donated a golf foursome that we could auction off; —Jimmy there has been fantastic. Frank is a member of —the members there took up a collection to help him out.”
Isidro added, “Police officers, we help our own. But when the community comes out and steps up, it means a great deal. It’s why a lot of us became police officers, to help people. To see them help back, it’s just phenomenal.”
When I spoke with Ofc. Razzaia, it was clear he's very moved by how everyone—his fellow officers as well as Wilton residents and business—has responded to the call to help.
“When you hear news like this diagnosis, it’s a very alone feeling. Once you open up, it’s amazing you have these people you work with, who care so much. It’s pretty unbelievable, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. For them to go above and beyond, especially Detective Isidro who put in a lot of his own time, it really makes you appreciate the people around you.”
He added, “I go to work every day to try to do the best for Wilton, and when I need it…it’s pretty humbling that they want to give back. Look, everybody has stuff going on in their lives, but for the community to step up, in my time of need, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay that.”
Depending on how he feels, Razzaia hopes to attend the Thursday event. The one other thing that might complicate his plans is when his daughter will make her appearance. “I would love to be there, it’s the least I could do. So if she doesn’t have the baby that day…” he laughs. “Really, every time the phone rings, you wonder. She really is that close.”
During our conversation, Razzaia repeated, “I just want to emphasize how grateful my family is, for everyone to be doing this.”
This gracious man is a member of the Wilton community—he puts his life on the line to protect the lives of Wilton’s residents, and I think it’s just as important for the Wilton community to return the favor and help protect Officer Razzaia’s life. I hope you’ll join me in making a donation or buying a ticket.
As his colleague, Det. Isidro, put it: “Frank’s in a bind, and he needs help from anyone.”
To purchase tickets, or to make a donation, contact Det. Chris Isidro at 203.216.8371 or 203.834.6254, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks can be made out to “Wilton PBA” and be sure to write “Frank Razz” on the memo line. Tickets will also be available at the door.