The Waltham Police Department is mourning the death of one of their own, a young father of three who passed away Friday night after a “courageous battle with cancer.”
The department announced over the weekend that Charlie Gryska, who was diagnosed in February, died at home surrounded by his family.
“Ofc. Gryska joined the department in 2015 and was known to us all as a great friend, husband, and father,” his colleagues wrote. “We will always remember Charlie’s infectious smile, cheerful attitude, and outgoing personality.”
Gryska went to an emergency room in early February after suffering from a headache and blurry vision for a few days, according to the GoFundMe page launched to support his family earlier this year. Within the next 24 hours, the 33-year-old officer was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. In the ensuing months, he underwent three surgeries, as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
The fundraiser asked donors to pitch in to help support the officer, his wife Jackie, and their three young children ages 5, 2, and 7 months. The couple met during the first month of their freshman year at UMass Dartmouth, according to the fundraiser.
“In all aspects of his life, Charlie brings laughter, loyalty, love, and strength to those around him!” the organizers wrote of the father of three. “You can’t help the smile that comes across your face with the mention of his name!”
Condolences and donations poured into the page as news of Gryska’s death spread. More than a thousand people have donated to the fundraiser, which has raised more than $200,000 since it was started in March.
“The support from the community has been remarkable and will never be forgotten by members of this department and the Gryska family,” Waltham police wrote on Saturday after Gryska’s passing. “Please keep his wife and children in your thoughts and prayers. Rest easy Charlie, we’ll take it from here.”