Community Rallies For 9-1-1 Dispatcher with Stage IV Cancer

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-04 16:50:09-04

They’re the voice on the other end of the phone when you’re in trouble.  But Sunday, the Sarpy County community showed up to help a 9-1-1 dispatcher during her greatest time of need.  


“People coming together for one cause, for my mom, is amazing because we had no idea that this many people cared,” said Siara Hergenrader, 24, eldest daughter of Julie Riggs.


Julie, a dedicated Sarpy County 9-1-1 dispatcher, is battling stage four squamous cell carcinoma.


“When we all found out just how serious that it was, we all cried; I mean, we’re all a family down there,” said coworker Megan Urban.


Sunday, Julie’s coworkers at the dispatch center held a pancake feed to raise funds for her medical expenses and her girls’ future.


“Been a really rough process, but we have a lot of great family and friends that have been there for us, and police departments have been there for us,” said Hergenrader.


More than 700 people from the community and law enforcement of Sarpy County came to show their support to the woman who is usually supporting them.


“We’re the first call for them when they need help, and now when one of us needs help, they’re here to help us out,” said Urban.


Fire & Iron, the Firefighters Motorcycle Club even gave her girls, Siara and Jesse, a $1000 donation.


“She wants so bad to go back to work, but because of her diagnosis she can’t.  And she talks about it all the time.  All her coworkers are so amazing, so supportive,” said Hergenrader.


The girls say through it all, their mom has been courageous, caring, and supportive.


“We love you mom, and you should see all these people ‘cuz it is just packed full of people and everyone’s asking about you,” said Hergenrader.


“We love you, mom,” echoed younger sister Jesse Riggs,17.


Julie is also an avid volunteer at the Nebraska Humane Society, which donated household items, like dog food, for Julie.  Altogether, the pancake feed raised more than $9000.