Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is revealing heart warming solidarity and giving patients new options in their battle against cancer.
ANYA MORRIS APPEAL REACHES OVER £35,000
A charity ball to raise money and help Anya Morris, a 6-year-old girl from West Leeds in the UK, receive life-saving proton therapy treatment for her brain tumor has reached more than £35,000.
Anya has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called chordoma at the beginning of the year. She underwent two surgeries and was then flown out to Oklahoma, USA for proton therapy in early February with her parents and two siblings. She is now undergoing her final week of treatment. Although flights and accommodations for Anya and her parents were funded by the NHS, the family has had to pay substantial living costs as well as the cost of bringing their two other children. A charity ball was organized at the end of January at the South Leeds Stadium to raise funds and help the family face the cost of the young girl’s treatment. Anya’s dad thanked everyone for their support: “We have continued to be amazed by people’s reaction to Anya’s situation. The final amount of £35,160 has left us in shock. The money means we have been able to let Anya enjoy whatever Oklahoma has to offer and make this experience a truly positive one. We have a long road in front of us when we get back to Leeds assessing any success and monitoring Anya’s condition until we hopefully get the all clear. Anya’s journey does not end when we leave America. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and efforts.” Check out Anya’s Page on Facebook for more: https://www.facebook.com/Anyas-page-1518464378467657/?fref=ts
FIREFIGHTER BATTLING CANCER
Dave Alberts, a 57-year-old firefighter-paramedic from Washington, USA is fighting prostate cancer and will be receiving non-invasive proton therapy treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance this spring.
Dave has saved countless lives, but the one he wants to save now is his own. He was diagnosed this January with semi-aggressive prostate cancer, but his journey truly began last September, when he went in for an annual physical and his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) registered higher than normal. As a precaution, he had a biopsy done and the cancer was detected. Dave chose to treat his cancer with state-of-the-art proton beam therapy rather than a potentially crippling surgery. One of the reasons was that a friend of his was treated with protons 8 years ago for the same cancer, and he’s been doing great since then. “The quality of life is much different,” he said. However, he was denied coverage by his insurance, and he has to pay for the expensive treatment out of his pocket. A GoFundMe account called “TeamDaveA has been set up by his family online to raise 55.000$ and help him cover the costs: https://www.gofundme.com/teamdavea. Dave will begin a heavy regimen of treatments later this spring of 20-minute sessions once a day, Monday to Friday for 44 days. As he continues his journey to improve his quality of life, he also stresses the importance of educating others about the “stealthiness” of prostate cancer and to seek early detection.
A MAN OF SERVICE FIGHTING CANCER
68-year-old Rich Kiselewksy from Delaware, USA has led a life defined by a legacy of service since he enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school, and is remaining dedicated to service even in his own personal battle with prostate cancer.
Since being diagnosed with the disease in spring 2015, he advocates for early detection and works to educate others on the benefits of proton therapy, the method of radiation he elected to pursue following his extensive research on the approach, as well as the center at which he underwent treatment, ProCure Proton Therapy in Somerset. Since successfully completing 44 sessions of radiation treatment at ProCure last August with positive results, Rich is high on the future. “I was a little tired at first, but I feel good now – so far so good,” he said. “If sharing my experience helps even one person in their fight with cancer, it’s been well worth it.” Recently starting a new part-time job as a certified firearms instructor and safety office at a firing range near Flemington, Rich is delighted to return to what he does best. “I wanted to share my expertise and am excited to be back to work again doing something I’ve always enjoyed,” he said. As for words of advice for others, he hopes people will choose to live well now and opt for action: “If you sit down and do nothing, life goes by quickly. You have to stay mentally and physically active and share what you know with others in a positive way. I encourage others to contribute and do something good for those around them, even if it’s only for one other person. If everyone would do that, that positive energy would spread and things would get better.”