Meet a guy like Bill Ramey and you will never forget him. He’s never met a stranger. He will talk your leg off. And he has friends all over the globe. He smiles a lot. And he’s definitely on the move.
That is why most people would never guess that this happy-go-lucky guy is living with stage four colon cancer.
Of course, that diagnosis required some time to accept and adjust to. Initially, Ramey thought about the milestones of his daughter’s life. What if he wasn’t in the world to watch Hannah graduate from college? What if his life ended before she became a bride? Ramey started writing in a journal, with the plan of giving his heart to his only child, on paper. In his absence, she would have her father’s loving thoughts as comfort.
Ramey continued to struggle with the diagnosis. Because chemotherapy was so relentless, his doctors told him to leave his job. It was now too strenuous to install flooring. All of a sudden, so much of his life was over. What was he supposed to do until he died? Sit around and mope on the couch?
On his computer, Ramey found his way.
He started to reach out to other people living with cancer. He is now the administrator of four different Facebook pages, all of which are devoted to people living with cancer. He spends many hours either typing back and forth or talking on the phone to people he might never meet. He also spends hours in hospital waiting rooms and more time than he ever wants to face, in funeral homes, saying goodbye to friends he has come to love dearly.
Along with the many hours of giving, Ramey is now doing some traveling, too! Through the Say Yes to Hope foundation, he recently traveled to New York City and walked the runway during Fashion Week.
“They had a whole section featuring people who had any kind of cancer, but it had to be stage four,” Ramey said.
During the Big Apple tour, he and his wife Susan saw many highlights. But walking all 60 blocks of Central Park was a favorite.
“It was nice to visit once,” Ramey said of New York. “It’s too busy for me.”
Very soon he will leave again on a jet plane. This time, headed to Los Angeles.
“I’m doing an underwater photo shoot,” Ramey said with laugh. “That’ll be something since I can’t swim!”