Nothing says love like something warm and comforting bubbling over a heat source and this Saturday 903 Brewers will join with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office to stir up some pots of love for long-time GCSO employee Capt. Ricky Wheeler.
The chili cook-off, car show, gun raffle and bake sale will begin at noon and continue through 5 p.m.
In January, Wheeler had a mass that tested positive for Squamous Cell Carcinoma removed from his neck. It was also attached to his carotid artery. In February, he had a PET scan that showed a mass under his tongue at the base of his throat which was removed surgically and later confirmed to be malignant.
He then began treatment for head and neck cancer at the Baylor Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas and endured nine weeks of chemo and 35 straight days of radiation. Wheeler then recovered.
In September, Wheeler went in for a routine test and found out that the cancer in his neck was gone, but there was cancer in his bones. He now has Stage 4 cancer in his legs, ribs, shoulders, spine and hips. He is now undergoing immunotherapy. Because the tumors didn’t immediately respond to that therapy, Wheeler has undergone chemotherapy for a second time.
He and his wife Laura, a Grayson County assistant district attorney, have two young sons, ages 5 and 3.
“At this point, he has a large battle on his hands, but fights every day,” Laura Wheeler wrote in a note discussing her husband’s illness.
Ricky Wheeler started work at the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office back in 1992. He started off in the jail and then was switched to dispatch. He was assigned to the GCSO’s special response team while he was still a jailer.
He then moved to patrol where he helped the office use seizure funds to secure its first K-9 officer, Arty. Wheeler and Arty became the GCSO’s first K-9 team and worked together for five years.
In 1997, Wheeler was promoted to sergeant and moved to narcotics. In 2004, he became the department’s assistant public information officer.
Then in 2006, he was assigned as the sergeant over narcotics and criminal investigations. Three years later, he was selected as the commander of the Special Response Team and then in 2010, he became the full-time public information officer. In 2012, he was promoted to lieutenant over the Criminal Division and Narcotic Investigations. Then in 2014, he was moved to the lieutenant’s position over the Patrol Section.
Wheeler is currently the captain in charge of the Enforcement Bureau.
He has served on several non-profit boards, including the Grayson County Crisis Center, Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center, the Mentor Program with Sherman ISD, and the House of Eli.
“We wish to personally thank our friends, family and the community for the outpouring of love, support and donations,” the Wheelers said in a written statement. “It has been humbling and overwhelming. We would also like to thank Sheriff (Tom) Watt and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies for helping out and always being supportive; Marshall Skiles and La Mesa staff for donating a portion of their proceeds to his cancer fight; Mike Ditto and Nathan Young for hosting the gun raffle; Jeremy and Natalie Roberts of 903 Brewers for hosting the Benefit and Chili Cook Off this Saturday.”
All donations will go toward assisting with Ricky Wheeler’s treatment cost, travel expenses and the well-being of his family in this stressful time in their lives.