FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2013 file photo, Chicago Police patrol the neighborhood in Chicago. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that Chicago police officers are employing the controversial "stop and frisk" practice more than officers in New York City, where a judge ruled the widespread practice discriminated against minorities. In a study released Monday, March 23, 2015 the ACLU says that Chicago officers last summer conducted more than 250,000 stops of people who weren't arrested. (AP Photos/M. Spencer Green)

Stage-4 Cancer Can’t Hold This American Hero Back

Sometimes it takes the worst tragedies to bring out the qualities that restore our faith in humanity. Hurricane Harvey has left us with more than devastation: in its aftermath, numerous people have performed heroically, saving other human beings and animals. There was this man who now famously  took his boat out to “save some lives.”

Houston police officer Bert Ramon is another man doing extraordinary things in a trying time. He says the need to rescue so many in Houston helped him to find faith and purpose.

He was looking and praying for purpose since he has been battling stage-4 colon cancer, which had confined him to desk work. But the desperate times Harvey has wrought meant that no one who can help is turned away.

Ramon has since helped rescue nearly 1500 people.

CBS News reports that in spite of the fact that he had his most recent round of chemotherapy on Sunday, he feels fine:

“I said, ‘hey, I’m fine.’ I said, ‘don’t hold me back. I’ll go wherever I need to be,'” he recounted.

Asked if he ever thought it might be a bad idea, Ramon said, “No it never crossed my mind at all – never.”

He put his health concerns on hold, for the city he swore to serve.

Ramon braved the “apocalypse” — his words — that is post-Harvey Houston, saving people in desperate situations, from children to senior citizens, while all the time his platelet counts were low, meaning that he can bump, bruise and bleed especially easily. The cancer has spread from his colon to his liver and lungs. His wife Cindy knows this, but she also knows there is no way to keep him from doing his job.

“He looks at me and I say you crazy. He says ‘I’m going.’ ‘I’m going in,'” Cindy said.

Ramon is not the only police officer who has performed his duty in spite of hardship. Reportedly, the homes of over 400 officers were destroyed or damaged, but they stayed on duty anyway, which should remind everyone of the power of putting others before yourself.

We should remember as well that the vast majority of police across our nation are ready and willing to do the most difficult and dangerous jobs to rescue others. It is this sort of self-sacrificial heroism that truly makes America great, especially when it is accompanied by faith and prayer.

“God answered my prayer. It came out of this flood. I hope I can inspire other cancer patients that you know don’t let this hold you back. If you feel strong, don’t let it take over your life at all,” Ramon said.

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J. Cal Davenport

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