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Leroy Carrion: A Detective's Battle Against Cancer and Crime, Inspiring Courage and Resilience

Leroy Carrion

“Things happen in life that is God’s way of sending you to the left or the right. So whichever way you are lead, you fight. You fight like hell,” Detective Carrion said.

Leroy Carrion
Colon Cancer

Leroy Carrion, a seasoned detective with the San Antonio Police Department, dedicated his life to solving crimes and bringing justice to his beloved community. In June 2021, he encountered a daunting and different kind of challenge when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. This unexpected diagnosis, for the robustly healthy 53-year-old, would test Leroy physically and emotionally. But like cracking a criminal case, he applied determination and mental fortitude to see his way through his cancer journey.

The Diagnosis

The COVID-19 pandemic paused the world for many. Scheduled doctors' appointments were rescheduled and rescheduled again, with some appointments being put off for many months, including Leroy's colonoscopy. It was June 16, 2021, when the results revealed a devastating truth - stage III colon cancer.

“I was what some would say the epitome of health. I barely needed to see a doctor. Hardly needed medicine,” Leroy said. “I took great care of myself and my body, so why me?”

This diagnosis sent shockwaves through his circle of loved ones and friends. His family had been through this before. Leroy's wife is a breast cancer survivor.

“She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 so we had kind of been through this before. We never thought we would go through this again,” Leroy said.

Despite the diagnosis, Leroy refused to let cancer define him. With unwavering resolve, he embarked on the difficult and at times overwhelming progression of treatments, surgeries, and countless doctor appointments.

The Journey

“Fighting cancer is only as effective as your surgery. You can’t fight cancer if you don’t have a positive outcome with your surgery, so finding the right surgeon was my priority,” Leroy said.

Leroy was referred to colon and rectal surgeon Michael A. Keller, M.D. at Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists–San Antonio Medical Center. After one meeting, he was sure certain he could entrust his care to Dr. Keller.

"I have had the privilege of treating, and I must say, he is the epitome of strength and resilience. Throughout his fight, he faced every challenge with perseverance and a positive attitude,” Dr. Keller said. “Now, he is determined to use his experience to help others in their own fights against cancer."

After a successful surgery, Leroy completed 13 rounds of chemotherapy and rang the bell on January 11, 2022. But cancer took a toll on Leroy's strength.

“I am an active individual. Could I go out and run like I used to? Yeah, absolutely because I am tough. But should I? No, I must save my strength for this fight,” Leroy said. “And that takes a toll on you mentally.”

As he grappled with the emotional and physical toll of cancer, Leroy was diagnosed with liver cancer just months after ringing the bell. He aggressively fought his new diagnosis and finished his last chemotherapy session in mid-summer 2023.

The Pursuit of a Different Kind of Justice

Throughout his battle with cancer, Leroy has discovered a newfound strength in his vulnerability. In sharing his story with others, cancer support groups, and the wider community, he has become an advocate for early detection and regular screenings. By shedding light on his own struggles, he hopes to inspire others to prioritize their health and seek medical attention when something feels amiss.

“Things happen in life that is God’s way of sending you to the left or the right. So whichever way you are lead, you fight. You fight like hell,” Leroy said. “If I can change one person’s perspective then I feel like I have done all that I can.”

Leroy hopes his journey can serve as a beacon of hope for those facing similar challenges. His courage in facing cancer – like his commitment to public safety as a dedicated law enforcement officer – are unshaken. As he continues to fight both crime and cancer, his story serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit can prevail, and inspire others to face their own challenges with courage and resilience.

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.