By Alan Gionet
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – “I have had almost 100 radiation treatments and 30 chemo treatments,” Ron Batt explained.
He didn’t sound worn or bitter or disheartened. He was resolute, constructive and creative.
“The way I looked at the cancer cells is they were skinny dippers in the Amazon surrounded by piranhas.”
It’s a unique look at the lung cancer that spread to his brain, but Ron is a unique and fascinating guy.
“It’s a fatal diagnosis, but I don’t accept that,” he told me.
Ron was referred to me by a friend who called him, “an amazing human being.” Cancer hit Ron, but there’s a lot more to Ron than the cancer.
For a long time he worked as a paralegal for Colorado Legal Aid. A place where he could help people without means. He helped design the intake system statewide, to try to get legal advice right away when people came in, many times with nowhere else to turn. Ron had to leave the job due to his cancer. His time is peaceful on his Coal Creek Canyon property near Golden where he cares for his nine alpacas and two dogs. He’ll turn 60 in March. Ron has always spoken up about the rights of the poor. He protested over the years for causes like the 99 Percenters.
Ron knows where his cancer came from. He was a smoker for almost 40 years. He felt a lump on the side of his throat. It’s a small cell carcinoma.
“In some ways this has been a positive experience,” he told me. “I heard from people I hadn’t heard from in years, just people coming out of the woodwork helping out.”
He credits the staff at Lutheran Medical Center where he’s been getting treatment.
“I’ve had great support between the people I work with, my family and friends and people I didn’t know.”
“I’m kind of proud,” he noted about going through the earlier stages.
Losing hair was difficult.
“I was reluctant to accept help.”
But he pointed out that allowing people to help, “You actually give them good feelings and hope in getting their help.”
Ron has always done things outdoors. He left Legal Aid for three years to run a rafting company plying the waters of the Arkansas River. He made a near record run through frightening high water in Royal Gorge. He’ll tell you of the time he stood a raft straight up.
After his cancer diagnosis he did not stop living. In June of this year, he went skydiving in Delta. It was something he always wanted to do. Ron is not only brave but bold.
What happened may sum him up pretty well.
“They didn’t have to push me, they had to hold me back.”
Ron’s story is one of the Faces of Cancer Alan Gionet is showing up during his No Shave November effort. He’s explaining how cancer doesn’t define people as he raises money to fight it. Here’s a link to Alan’s page: https://no-shave.org/member/agionet