Police in the Poconos are rallying around a brother in blue who is fighting for his life.
In a Facebook posting, the Stroud Area Regional Police Department offered words of encouragement, prayers and support to longtime police officer and father of 11 children, Ruben Torres, who has been diagnosed with advanced cancer.
The department is asking the public to support Torres in his battle against cancer by making an online contribution.
"Ruben has done so much for others in his life and now his family is asking for our help for him," the police department said on Facebook. "Chemotherapy is not an option for Ruben right now with alternative treatments being his only option. The treatments are very costly and the family is in need of financial support. "
Torres has been an officer for nearly 25 years with fist the East Stroudsburg Police Department and then the Stroud Area Regional Police Department.
Along the way, he has worked in "many specialized areas, participating in community events, earning lots of awards and helping protect and serve the citizens of our very own community," states the Facebook posting from Stroud Area Regional Police.
"He is still currently an active police officer with our department but had to unexpectedly take some medical leave time when he got sick and ended up in the hospital a few months ago."
Torres is married with 11 children, six biological and five adopted.
Five of his 11 children have Down syndrome. He is an active member of the Pocono Parents of Down Syndrome organization and a supporter of Reese's Rainbow adoption, encouraging people to give children with Down syndrome a forever home.
"Let's keep the Torres family in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this very difficult time," states the Stroud police Facebook posting. "We all love you Ruben -- you will always be our brother in blue."
Torres' wife, JoAnn, posted the following information on gofundme.com:
"My beautiful husband has advanced cancer and there is no conventional way of dealing with it. I am on a quest. I will not accept this as his only choice. We have prayed and researched everyday which way Lord, where should we go next. Our hope is in His hands. I am expecting a miracle and need all of our friends and family to be a part of it. The cancer is spreading and we need for Ruben to get into a facility ASAP. I am trying to raise the money to cover the cost of this Alternative Treatment which will be approximately $30,000. God is able to move this Mountain before us.
"I need my best friend and father of 11 great kids alive. His friends, family and co workers need him. We are waiting on a recommendation from Dr. Contreras of The Oasis of Hope Hospital. Praying he has a good treatment plan and Ruben can go right away.. Please be praying for Ruben and our whole family as we take this leap of faith that all our needs will be met. Financial, child care and the unforeseen."