Colon cancer patient and police officer, Norbert Ramon, has helped to save over 1,500 people from flooded areas of Houston, Texas.
Police officer and cancer patient, Norbert Ramon, has helped to rescue over 1,500 people in Houston, Texas.
Norbert Ramon has been a member of the Houston Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement division for 24 years. But when the 55-year-old was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, splitting time between rounds of chemo and work meant stepping off the field.
Mr. Ramon had been on desk duty for just 3 weeks when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas late last month. Harvey is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005. Substantial flooding and damage have displaced an estimated 30,000 people.
Despite being in the midst of cancer treatment, Mr. Ramon was eager to help his community in the face of crisis.
So when his office started flooding, Mr. Ramon went out to report to his nearest patrol unit, which just so happened to be the Houston Lake Patrol.
Together with his colleagues, Mr. Ramon has helped to rescue over 1,500 people from flooded buildings and neighbourhoods. This despite the fact that the cancer has spread to his liver and lungs.
“He’s been so caught up in the emotions and the excitement of trying to rescue people, he had no time to even think about it,” Mr. Ramon’s wife, Cindy, describes. “You wouldn’t even think he had cancer – he’s plugging along like he doesn’t.”
According to Cindy, there was no stopping Mr. Ramon once he had decided to help.
Still, the hurricane has affected Mr. Ramon’s treatment regime – which involves flying to the Cancer Treatment Centres of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma every two weeks. When his flight was cancelled due to flooding this past Sunday, Mr. Ramon and Cindy and to drive nine hours to make the scheduled session.
Despite the challenges the hurricane has brought, Mr. Ramon remains in excellent spirits. “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,” Mr. Ramon said recently to CBS News. “As long as I feel good, I feel healthy, I’m going to go out there and work, you know. And it hasn’t slowed me down yet. Thank God.”