Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Stricken with terminal cancer, Robin Reid languishes in county jail

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

news1 Each week, Robin Reid gets four days off from her four-year jail sentence to undergo chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer. - Photo by Kelly Davis

Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, Robin Reid’s doctor called. The breast cancer she’d been diagnosed with almost six years ago—that had already spread to her bones and liver—had metastasized to her brain. The tumor explained Reid’s recent headaches and memory loss. Treating it would require radiation therapy to hopefully zap the tumor.

At such news, most folks would turn to family or friends, or milk the Internet for details about the procedure and prognosis. But Reid had to go into jail.

Every Monday morning since early November, Reid drives 21 miles from her Ocean Beach home to Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee. She parks her car several blocks away—she’s not allowed to park on jail property—walks into the jail and gets rebooked into a solo cell in the jail’s medical unit, where she’ll remain until Thursday morning. It’s a unique deal, part of a plea agreement that allows her four days out to receive, and recover from, chemotherapy.

Reid will do this until at least December 2014. It’s the soonest she can be released after time-served and good-behavior credits are applied to the four-year sentence she got in November for running a full-body massage business. But, she’s not expected to live that long. She’s on her ninth chemo drug, and it’s stopped working, says Dr. Marin Xavier, Reid’s oncologist. The prognosis is grim.

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