James Fulghum’s completion of prostate cancer treatment today was a celebration not only for him but for Provision Center for Proton Therapy as well—the graduation of its 400th patient.
A surprised grin crossed Fulghum’s face as he was presented him with a special certificate before he rang the graduation bell.
The event marks a “huge milestone” for Provision. The center opened last January and celebrated its 100th patient graduation just eight months ago. Since then, Provision Center for Proton Therapy has opened a third treatment room and seen its patient numbers increase significantly in 2015.
Fulghum, who came for treatment for aggressive prostate cancer from his home in Lebanon, Tenn., learned of proton therapy through his nephew. Founder and principal at civil engineering firm, Fulghum, MacIndoe & Associates, Billy Fulghum worked with Provision in its early days as the company made site design plans for the new treatment facility.
When his uncle was diagnosed with cancer, Billy Fulghum approached him about considering proton therapy as a treatment option.
“The first thing he said was, ‘I’m not going to the Bahamas to do some experimental thing,’” Billy Fulghum said.
But after perusing the Provision website and meeting with Dr. Marcio Fagundes and staff at Provision, James Fulghum was sold.
“(Dr. Fagundes has) been in this business for many years. He’s seen a lot of things,” Fulghum said. “He laid it out in simple terms that I could understand.”
At the end of eight weeks in Knoxville golfing, visiting the mountains, making friends with other patients—two of whom attended his graduation—and experiencing the hospitality and warmth of the Provision employees—from radiation therapists to hospitality coordinators to financial services manager Rhonda Turner—James Fulghum said he’s sad to go.
“I feel like when I walked through the front door this was heaven and these people were angels,” he said. “Even though I’m number 400, I’m not a number in this place.”