PLATTSBURGH — Everyone knows Norman Shappy simply as “Beaver.”
Since being diagnosed with cancer in July 2008, the 47-year-old Peru native has had his right arm amputated and has undergone lung surgery, chemotherapy treatments and radiation.
He recently found out his aggressive form of cancer caused new tumors to grow in his lungs, dangerously close to his pulmonary artery.
“From day one, I’ve fought,” he said. “I don’t dwell on it. I try to have as much fun as I can when I can.”
Beaver has traveled to New York City, where he will meet with doctors this morning at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to discuss treatment options.
Living on a fixed income, he knows how hard it can be to afford trips for treatment but keeps a positive outlook that everything will work out.
“Every penny matters. I just need to get down there and see what they’ve got to say and see if we can slow this thing down or if we can stop it because time is ticking by,” he said by phone Tuesday. “At this point, I am losing time, and I need to be gaining time.”
Members — or “brothers” as Beaver calls them — of the Un-Easy Riders Motorcycle Club and others will meet at noon Saturday at the Un-Easy Riders Motorcycle Clubhouse, 65 Number 37 Road in Saranac to raise money for trips and treatment. A $10 donation is asked for the fundraiser, which will have food, music and live entertainment.
He has been riding with the club for three and half years.
During that time, he has helped raise money for others in need. He is thankful his friends are doing the same for him — even though he originally declined assistance.
“They told me they were doing this and to keep my mouth shut. I had no say in what they were going to do,” he said.