Rudi Betancourt was one month away from completing his probationary first year with the South Shore Fire Department when he was diagnosed with Stage II nodular sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
On March 29, Betancourt, 24, was admitted to the hospital for tests after going to the doctor because he had difficulty breathing with swelling in his face, neck and body. After a series of scans, it was determined he had cancer, including a tumor growing in his chest that presses on his lungs and in the superior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from his head, arms and neck and causes fluid back-ups and swelling.
Family and friends have set up a gofundme.com page to help Rudi with his medical expenses above and beyond. Their goal is $10,000, and in the four days since the page was posted, donations total $5,253.
“Rudi is the kind of guy who will do anything for anyone,” Racine County Eye was told over and over again by his SSFD family.
Betancourt is at home and will begin chemotherapy in the next couple of weeks.