Richland County Deputy Battles Lung Cancer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — “I said to myself, basically I’m going to die,” says Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy, Mark Ryan. Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy, Mark Ryan, recalls that March day when doctors told him he had stage 4 lung cancer. “By the time that they diagnosed me, it went from my lungs to my spine and my hip,” says Deputy Ryan. The prognosis was not good. “The original doctor I talked to told me I had two to three months to live,” says Deputy Ryan Questions immediately raced through his mind. “What’s left unfinished and what’s going to happen when I’m gone and who is going to take care of the girls?,” says Deputy Ryan. Deputy Ryan, father of three says his daughters took the news differently. “My middle and oldest daughters knew the severity of it from day one,” says Deputy Ryan. But, for his youngest daughter it wasn’t so easy. “She looked at it like you’re going to get better, she didn’t really understand at first,” says Deputy Ryan. From there Deputy Ryan says his oldest daughter Kelly, a student at Clemson University, took the leadership role of the family. And she had a lot of help from the Richland County Sheriff’s office; for which Deputy Ryan says he is forever grateful. “My fears and it was a lot of fear and uncertainty were subsided because I knew that no matter what happened to me, my girls would be taken care of,” says Deputy Ryan. So while Deputy Ryan underwent treatment, his family and co-workers pulled together for him and his three girls. The Richland County Sheriff’s office went above and beyond helping take care of his daughters, to holding fundraisers to help with medical bills. And it all paid off. Just seven months later deputy Ryan is back on the force. “It feels wonderful to be back,” says Deputy Ryan He’s in remission and he says life is getting back to normal, but differently. “A lot more smiles and a lot more that we are looking forward to. I mean we are talking about what we’re going to do for Christmas everyday is in a positive mood right now,” says Deputy Ryan.