Beating the odds: Gautier police Sgt. Ben McQuagge rings victory bell for beating cancer
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s been a three year fight for Gautier Police Sgt. Ben McQuagge.
After a long battle with the devastating illness, he celebrated his victory over stage 4 colon cancer with a bell ringing ceremony Monday afternoon.
“It spread to my lungs, my lymph node system and my liver, and they pretty much told me from the beginning that I didn’t stand a chance,” McQuagge said. “It was so far advanced that there wasn’t much that can be done.”
That’s the diagnosis McQuagge received back in May 2020, the words crashing in like heavy bricks.
“It was overwhelming. I was 37 years old when I got diagnosed. Just imagine getting that news, you’re going to die in a year or year and a half maybe. You’re not going to be able to beat this,” McQuagge said.
But he did.
After rounds of treatment and procedures, he’s officially cancer free.
“I have a great support system with my police department and all the other police departments in Jackson County. Not only here, but all over the southeast,” he said.
The love is spread throughout the community too.
Dozens lined the Singing River Cancer Center in Ocean Springs to celebrate McQuagge’s bell-ringing ceremony, like Gautier Police Chief David Bever.
“I think it really shows how many people in the department really care about him and the sick community. You saw the people here today and we’re very happy that he’s fought and beat the cancer,” Dever said.
McQuagge continued to work during treatment, still putting his community first.
“He’s got a very important part in our department working on the inner state task force. We’re a big team. We support each other going through difficult times,” Bever said.
“The people in this room are amazing,” McQuagge said.
McQuagge officially returns to his position on Monday.
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