A rainy and windy day did not keep more than 500 community members from attending the official Grand Opening celebration of Provision Center for Proton Therapy, Tennessee’s first and only proton therapy treatment facility. Olympic gold medalist and Provision board member Scott Hamilton was a special speaker, along with Provision founder Dr. Terry Douglass, medical director Marcio Fagundes, MD., Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and proton therapy patients.
Provision’s ceremonial “Victory Bell” played an integral role in the celebration as it does when patients graduate from their proton therapy treatments. A symbol of joy, accomplishment and hope, the bell is rung three times by each patient that completes treatment.
Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold-medalist and cancer survivor, expressed enthusiasm at the event. “This is a great, big, huge, awesome day,” he said. “Cancer treatment options just keep getting better and better. To have a proton therapy center in your backyard, you have no idea how awesome that is.”
Dr. Marcia Fagundes, medical director at the center, said the ProvisionCenter for Proton Therapy will welcome two new board-certified radiation oncologists this summer. “We have a staff assembled from across the country and from right here in Knoxville with the best of the best,” he said.
Two cancer survivors and proton therapy patients, Don Denton and David Hutchins, shared their stories with the crowd. Denton, who wrote a book about his experience, said, “I call proton therapy the best-kept secret in medicine. Thank you, Terry Douglass and his phenomenal team. They are game-changers in defeating cancer. Our region is so blessed to have them here.”
Hutchins completed his treatment on March 20, a year to the day that his mother passed away and he received his diagnosis of prostate cancer. He said, “I really cannot say enough good about the staff that works at this facility. Provision has given me a new reason to view that day in a new light.”
For more information on the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, visit the web site at www.provisionproton.com or vall (865) 862-1600