Cancer diagnosis leads Manatee Co. deputy to pay it forward

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Nate Boggs never hesitates to help a person in need. As a Manatee County sheriff's deputy, it comes with the territory, but for Nate, it's not just a job.

It's become his life's calling. 

"Police officers, in general, are always coming to help somebody," he said. 

Last year, Detective Boggs went to the doctor after a bout of severe back pain.

He didn't expect a cancer diagnosis. At that moment, his life turned upside down. 

"I had tumors on my vertebra that had caused compression fractures," he recalled.  "You kind of feel like the weight of the world is crashing down on you. You don't know if [you are] going to make it through this." 

Co-workers at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office helped him through it. They raised money for his family and much more. 

After undergoing treatment and chemo, Detective Boggs is now in remission and has a new outlook on life. 

"I wanted to make sure if anybody else has to go through what I went through that they have the same backing," he said. 

That was the inspiration behind S.O.L.E, Supporters of Law Enforcement, as a way to give back to officers and their families going through similar situations. His organization is there when people need to talk or need help taking care of bills or simple daily tasks.

"When I was sick, I saw that not only is there a financial strain on you when you are sick, but there is an emotional strain," Boggs said. "I like to think we'd be there to help everybody out. We are all brothers and sisters at the end of the day."  

S.O.L.E already has a few success stories. Now he's working to expand his mission statewide, paying it forward like his law enforcement family did for him. 

"They've had my back so now it's time for me to have theirs," said Boggs. 

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