NEW YORK CITY - An Indiana man will walk in New York's Fashion Week to raise awareness about support groups for cancer patients.
Bill Ramey of Greenwood was chosen to be the feature survivor model for the cancer non-profit Say YES to HOPE in the SMGlobal Catwalk on Saturday.
It's quite the achievement for Ramey, who at one point never thought he'd ever see the Big Apple. He didn't think he'd even be able to see his daughter graduate from college or walk her down the aisle.
On Valentine's Day of 2013, Ramey was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. It had spread to his liver. Doctors gave him two years to live.
“It’s a pretty hard blow to take," said Ramey.
He had surgery and was put on a grueling chemotherapy regimen. By nothing short of a miracle, he said, the cancer disappeared.
“I’m living proof stage 4 colon cancer is not a death sentence.”
He's shown no signs of cancer for more than three years and now he's made it his mission to spread awareness about the support groups that changed his life.
After he was diagnosed, Ramey fell into a depression. He found encouragement through groups like Say YES to HOPE.
He said he wants to walk in the fashion show to share his story and encourage those who were recently diagnosed and living in fear.
“You have to try to maintain a positive attitude. Prayer goes a long way. And the one that everybody leaves out that I think is essential is you have to maintain a sense of humor," he said. “I feel like I’ve been given extra time. This is my way of paying it forward.”
You can find out more information about Say YES to HOPE by clicking here.