An Abbotsford Police officer who is battling brain cancer was given a police escort Friday as he left the community to begin his journey to the Ivy Brain Tumor Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ryan Masales – whose nickname is “Chopper” – was on his way to Vancouver, where he will spend the night before leaving on his flight tomorrow with wife Estelize and seven-year-old son Ryder.
They were escorted into Vancouver by about 50 members of the Vancouver and Abbotsford police departments.
Ryan was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 brain tumour in September 2016, and exhausted all conventional treatments in Canada.
His form of cancer – glioblastoma multiforme – is the same one that took the lives of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie and U.S. senator John McCain.
A GoFundMe campaign was organized in October by Estelize to raise the approximate $200,000 in costs to have treatment in Arizona that involves brain surgery, an MRI and several blood labs that are not covered by Canada’s medical services plan.
That fundraiser, to date, has brought in approximately $162,000.
Estelize posted on the GoFundMe page on Dec. 15 that the Arizona hospital was willing to get the process started for them – although the family still needs to raise more funds – and that Ryan’s surgery had been scheduled for Jan. 15.
“Thank you all for helping to give Ryan a second chance at life. I am so grateful for you all,” Estelize wrote on Dec. 18.
Ryan’s policing career includes working for the Abbotsford Police Department, the Vancouver Police Department, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the BC Undercover Program.
The online campaign can be found by searching “Fight Chopper” at gofundme.com. Money transfers can also be sent to email@example.com.
HAPPENING NOW- Sending positive vibes w AbbyPD's Cst Ryan Masales, aka Chopper, as he leaves @City_Abbotsford to begin his journey to @IvyBrainTumCtr, Arizona! #FightChopper #StrengthInCommunity@VancouverPD
— Abbotsford Police Department (@AbbyPoliceDept) January 3, 2020