Ryan Masales – His Fight Against Cancer


My story is about my husband, Ryan Masales; he acquired the nickname “Chopper” during his policing career, in fact most people we know refer to him as Chopper. I thought I would mention this as you will see the name Chopper everywhere in our campaign.  

Ryan is an incredible father to our 7-year-old son, Ryder, and an amazing husband to myself. We reside in Abbotsford.  Ryan has served the citizens of Canada by working for both the Abbotsford Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, British Columbia Undercover Program and Justice Institute of BC: Police Academy in the capacity of a patrol officer, drug expert, surveillance expert, undercover operator and teacher.  He has put his life on the line on countless occasions to save that of others – there were many days when I was not sure if he would come home.  The most memorable file he was ever involved in and one that has been closest to his heart was that of the murder of Laura Szendrei in which he was the primary undercover operator.  I am hoping that now that Ryan is fighting for his own life, the people of Canada will support him.


On August 26, 2016, while working in surveillance in Vancouver, Ryan suffered a grand mal seizure – 42 police cars lined the streets so that the ambulance that was transporting him to the hospital could get there as soon as possible.  A subsequent brain scan, brain surgery and biopsy revealed the devastating diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme – terminal brain cancer.  It is the same cancer that killed Canadian icon Gord Downie and Senator John McCain.  Our lives were turned upside down and it has been an emotional 3 years of battle.  Ryan has started a journal with entries which I am suppose to read Ryder, should he not make it to his life milestones such as high school or college graduation.  It sucks.  Ryan got a beautiful tattoo done on his forearm which I would like to share:  The artwork is based on an actual photo taken of him and Ryder.


After a brave 3-year battle against his disease, Ryan’s last MRI unfortunately showed that his cancer is growing despite treatment.  We have now exhausted all of our treatment options in Canada.  As the world stands today, your next option for someone with Ryan’s cancer and in his position is 1) to give up and let the cancer take over – NOT AN OPTION FOR US, 2) Do what you can to stay alive and in the world of Glioblastoma Multiforme leaves you looking at studies and trials as your only next treatment option. We had a genome map performed on Ryan’s latest tumor sample and it showed that he has the biomarkers (characteristics) for a study being performed at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This all means that the treatment being performed at the Institute could very well be extremely effective for Ryan. The treatment, amongst other things, would include another brain surgery, several MRI scans and blood labs, all which are billed to your health insurance, and for us that means MSP.  We were informed by MSP that they will not fund any out of country medical procedures which are considered part of a study – which is devastating when a study IS your only next option.  But not only that – Ryan has paid into the medical system his entire life as a contributing member to society, upholding the law.  And while I understand that we have to protect the integrity of our medical system, I can’t understand how we are doing that when we will fund a person to be revived for the second time, sometimes in the same day, from a fentanyl overdose but we will not help Ryan who did not chose cancer.  It is unacceptable, and unfair and I feel, discriminatory. He has every right to fight for his life and money should NOT be an obstacle.

So without any support from the government, we are now left to come up with $200 000 Canadian to fund Ryan’s treatment.  I have started a gofundme page which can be viewed by going to the gofundme website and searching “Fight Chopper , or by clicking on the link https://www.gofundme.com/f/fight-chopper.  We are also planning a fundraising event for Ryan, which we are calling Chopperfest 2019, which can be viewed on the brochure I attached for you or by visiting  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/chopperfest-2019-tickets-77592249507.   If 200 000 people gave me $1 each, we can do this.  I am determined to keep fighting with MSP, to raise these funds and to fight on. 

Ryan has, due to tumor growth, now lost his peripheral vision and can barely see out of his right eye, so time is ticking. I am hoping we can get the word out and raise the funds as soon as possible. 

I think we have done well as a society raising awareness for breast cancer, but more needs to be done for brain cancer awareness.  It is a devastating disease which affect many yet you never ever hear about it or see the color gray being promoted.  Some brain cancer stats: 

  • More than 1.4 million people worldwide are fighting malignant brain tumors/glioblastomas.
  • By the end of this year another 256 000 will be diagnosed, however in the past 15 years only 1 medication has been approved for management of glioblastomas.
  • Glioblastomas, such as the one Chopper is battling, is the most common primary brain tumor and is deadly.
  • 9 out of 10 people will not survive their disease past 5 years.

Estelize Masales