St. Cloud Capt. Boyd Graham, a military veteran and longtime law-enforcement officer, lost his battle against liver cancer Friday morning.
Graham, 47, was diagnosed with stage-four liver cancer in March and retired on April 7 due to his illness.
"Today, our community lost a hero. We extend our hearts and love to his family at this difficult time and thank all those in the community that have been supportive of Capt. Boyd Graham and his family during the past few months of his battle," Police Chief Pete Gauntlett said in a statement.
His wife, Claire Graham, had to leave her job temporarily as a teacher at St. Cloud High School to care for her husband.
The U.S. Army and Marine Corps veteran was nicknamed Sgt. Robo because of his disciplined persona during his 16 years at the Police Department.
Graham is also survived by two sons, Luke and Archer, and daughter Marilyn. Funeral arrangements are being made.
Roughy 1,000 Central Florida law-enforcement officers, city officials and residents gathered at the Peghorn Park Nature Trail and Wildlife Habitat in St. Cloud in June for a fund-raiser for Graham and his family.
Graham sat in the shade and greeted old friends and met new ones.
"If they're out here supporting me and my family," he said, "I'll shake anyone's hand."
Graham had just begun working on road patrol when he started feeling pain near his gallbladder. A trip to the doctor in January led to biopsies and the shocking results.
Initially, he was going to have half of his liver removed.
But when the doctor opened him up, there were too many cancerous nodules in his abdominal cavity to go forward with it.
A chemotherapy regimen followed.
Copyright 2013 - Orlando Sentinel
McClatchy-Tribune News Service