Cancer survivor on a mission to help others discover proton therapy treatment


From the minute his doctors told Rex his proton therapy worked, and he was “all clear” from cancer, he became a man on a mission. He would dedicate his life to helping other people facing a cancer diagnosis. He would educate them about the benefits of proton therapy. Most importantly, he would help them find something positive in a time where the negatives can be overwhelming.

“If you’re spared life, you need to spend that life helping others,” said Rex, a gastrointestinal cancer survivor. “You need to help other people deal with cancer. I want to reach out to those people and, through proton therapy, help them see good things happening in their life at a bad time.”


Rex spent the better part of 80-plus years as a guy who rarely got sick. He jokes that he was born in a hospital, but never set foot in one after that. However, in January 2022, his routine blood work came back with some abnormally low markers. His primary care physician referred him to a gastroenterologist for further testing. Following a colonoscopy and endoscopy, the doctor told Rex he’d found two different tumors.

“This was devastating news,” he recalled. “God has blessed me very much health-wise, so I was nervous as can be because I didn’t know what I was facing.”

Biopsies would confirm that Rex was indeed facing cancer.

“It’s such a jolt to your life when you get diagnosed with something that could terminate your life. I laid awake many nights with a pit in my stomach.”

Even though Rex was now in uncharted territory, he says he turned to three things to help him navigate through the process.

First and foremost, his faith in God. “The emotional part of being diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know how you deal with that without looking to your creator for help.”

Rex and his wife pose for a pictureSecond, a strong support system. His wife and family were his primary support system, and he also remembers friends from all over the world reaching out to him. “People are funny creatures,” Rex quipped. “When we see another creature hurting or going through a tough time, I think the good people reach out to you. I believe that helped me realize I wasn’t alone in this.”

And lastly, his music. As a classically trained pianist, Rex used his talents to escape the harsh realities of life with cancer. “You can lose your thought process into the music. When I run through a Rachmaninoff Étude-Tableau or a Chopin Nocturne, my mind goes into that rather than into the doom and gloom feelings. It pulls you out of that. It’s fabulous.”


Once he’d worked through the initial shock of a cancer diagnosis, Rex set out to find the best possible treatment for him. Between the two tumors, an oncologist recommended a combination of treatment modalities, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Having worked on the finance side of healthcare for many years, Rex knew there were different types of radiation therapy, ranging from traditional x-ray treatment to the more advanced proton therapy.

“I think proton therapy zeroes in on where the problem is more so than traditional radiation. That’s the part that appealed to me, because if you destroy good cells in the process of radiation, I believe you’re doing more harm to my body.”

To determine whether proton therapy was right for him, Rex scheduled a consultation with Provision CARES Proton Therapy. From the minute he met with the radiation oncologist there, he knew he was in the right place.

“You know how doctors usually are. They want to get in and get out. But I sat with Provision’s doctor for an hour and twenty minutes. He gave me no feelings that he wanted to get up and leave,” recalled Rex. “He was there for me. He cared about me as a person. It was like my son caring for me.”

Rex says that caring feeling remained consistent throughout his course of proton therapy… and even beyond.

When asked about the radiation therapists who administered his daily treatments, Rex remarked, “Oh my gosh, I fell in love with all those technicians. I still communicate with them. I’ve made lifelong friends there.”

As for the treatment itself, Rex says, in his case, he felt no pain, and somewhat surprisingly, he looked forward to coming in for treatment every day. He recalls Provision staff members building him up and encouraging him throughout the process.

He went through six weeks of proton therapy. Since then, his imaging scans are clean, and biopsies show no signs of cancer.

“In my case, proton therapy killed everything out,” Rex said about his experience. “No signs of cancer anywhere!”


Rex says he experienced clinical benefits from choosing proton therapy, as well as the Culture of Care at Provision. Because of that, he’s now a man on a mission to spread the word.

“I’m very much a pro-proton person now. Provision is a fabulous group. The people there are beyond servants of humanity. They’re gifts from heaven.”

He says he wants to dedicate the rest of his life – a life spared from cancer – to helping others deal with their own cancer diagnosis. And, if it’s in the cards, he wants to help them discover proton therapy.

“Talk to your doctor about it. Have a consulting visit with Provision,” Rex advises. “You just need to research and make your own decision. And you pray a lot.”

Rex is using his musical gifts to spread the word about proton therapyHe’s even using his gift of music to help the cause. Now that he’s been cleared from cancer, he spends two to three hours a day at the keyboard preparing for an annual music festival where he’ll see friends from all over the world.

Rex is grateful for those friends, many of whom reached out to him when he was first diagnosed. He wants to repay his gratitude by making sure they know about proton therapy.

He plans to tell them, “If you ever need cancer treatment, investigate it, because it’s here to help us. We all die of something, but if proton therapy can possibly keep us from dying from cancer, I think that’s a wonderful thing for mankind.”