After decades of helping others through their severe health crises, Trumbull resident Karen Marlin now finds herself needing help.

In late 2016 Marlin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which doctors treated with chemotherapy and radiation. But last year the cancer returned aggressively and has been deemed inoperable, according to her friend and former coworker Isabel Perez, wife of Bridgeport police Chief Armando (“A.J.”) Perez.

“Karen is a single mother of three, who’s trying to support her children and meet her financial obligations,” Perez said. “But she’s been out of work for almost two years and she’s at a point in her life where she needs a helping hand.”

Perez and others from the community held a fund-raising dinner for Marlin in November, and are planning another in March, hosted by Trumbull resident Fred Garrity, who also organizes the annual CT United 9/11 motorcycle ride. Details can be found on Facebook at FundraiserforKarenMarlin or by calling Perez at 203-816-7398 or Garrity at 203-257-2176 or by email at

“Karen and I worked together for 17 years in the operating room at Bridgeport Hospital, and she was always the one taking care of patients, but now she’s turned into a patient,” Perez said.