First responders get in the ring to help fellow officer battling ALS

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Police officers, firefighters and first responders duked it out to raise money for a former St. Paul police officer in the third annual Unite and Fight boxing event.

Roughly 1,200 people attended event held at Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis, with proceeds from the event going to support Sgt. Craig Gromek, WCCO says.

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Gromek, who turned 53 years old Sunday, was diagnosed with ALS and dementia, which forced him into retirement two years ago after 30 years on the force – five years with the Fridley Police Department and 25 years with St. Paul, KSTP reports.

His wife, Ruth Gromek, told the Pioneer Press he can no longer speak and requires full-time care. But the medical costs are adding up, so fellow officers and first responders got in the ring to help, FOX 9 reports.

"They depend on each other every day on the street," Ruth Gromek told KSTP. "Now, here they are. He's not on the street anymore. It doesn't matter. They haven't forgotten him."

Twenty-four police officers, EMTs, nurses, 911 dispatchers and firefighters from Minneapolis and St. Paul learned how to box before squaring off against each other, pitting city against city, KARE 11 noted.

Saturday night's event was the third in three years. Each year has been dedicated to a different public servant, reports note.

Donations to support Craig Gromek and his family can be made at any Bremer Bank in the Twin Cities. For updates on Gromek and his battle with ALS, click here.

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