Earl Malpass discovered he had prostate cancer when his PSA rose sharply, and he traveled to the lower 48 to seek medical care. Earl has lived in Alaska for 15 years, and is a pastor and a mission pilot. Mr. Malpass consulted with couple of different cancer treatment centers, including one with proton therapy capabilities, but he settled on treatment with Provision after experiencing the unique Culture of Care.
Caring for others is an integral part of life for the Malpass family. The Malpasses previously lived in Fairbanks, but relocated to Manley Hot Springs, selling their house and buying a partially-built cabin to support the start of a new church there. In their cabin, they even live without running water through long arctic winters. The communities Earl serves in Manley Hot Springs as pilot and director of Mission Air Care, a ministry of Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples, are even more remote. The purpose of the ministry is to fly mission supplies to village outposts unreachable by roads.
Although initially “scared I was making the wrong decision,” Earl says the experience with Provision convinced him he was at the right place. “It’s been first-class,”Earl said. “We have been treated like royalty.”
One doctor at a different cancer treatment center called proton therapy “experimental,” said Earl, which prompted him to share an article from a reputable journal given to him by Provision physician Dr. Marcio Fagundes, a board-certified radiation oncologist with extensive experience in proton therapy. A radiation oncologist, upon finding out Mr. Malpass’ insurance covered the proton therapy treatment, agreed that it sounded like the best route for his case, saying “Your insurance covers it? I think you’ve got your answer.”
Coming for treatment to Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville, accompanied by his wife and son, Jeremiah, the family was able to enjoy trips to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and to nearby Pigeon Forge. Earl says his wife has not minded her hotel stay after life in an Alaskan outpost. Still, they’ve been eager to travel the 4500 miles back home, looking forward to getting back to the work they do.
Mr. Malpass said his treatment made him think about the ripple effect of the medical treatment he received at Provision, especially the emphasis on the Culture of Care. “They’re helping me. They’re also having an impact on my wife and son, and the families there in Manley Hot Springs,” said Earl. “They’re having an impact far greater that you can imagine.”