For months, Earl Singer had been having symptoms of what would turn out to be a diagnosis of rectal cancer. One night it became obvious he needed further testing. Instead of heading to the ER that evening, the owner of Singer’s Appliance Service in Columbia City, Indiana, made a house call to fix the freezer of a customer he knew to be in dire straits, waiting until the next morning to make the trip to the hospital.
That’s typical, says his wife Glenna, who tells of nearly 50 years the couple has spent serving customers through their appliance business along with other ventures, and taking an active part in their church. “Our greatest love has been work for the Lord,”Mrs. Singer said. “Earl starts his day out with reading God’s Word, then the cup of coffee and off to appliance repair.’”
Shortly after his diagnosis, the Singers had come across a Provision CARES Proton Therapy advertisement, and a fellow church board member mentioned seeing ads for Provision as well, so the couple decided to research proton therapy. The more they learned, the more it made sense to pursue the treatment.“With conventional radiation there was only the hope of shrinking the tumor 20 percent,” said Mr. Singer. “One thing “I’ve learned through this process is I need to take an active part in determining my own treatment. It’s important to listen to my doctors, but in the end I have to make the decision that I believe is best for me.”
The couple made their first visit to Tennessee with some trepidation. Earl’s doctor urged them to “make sure it was a legitimate facility.” They liked the people they met at Provision and, returning to their hotel room that night, their son shared with them a faith-filled, encouraging message which the Singers took comfort in, describing a sense divine reassurance that they were at the right place for Mr. Singer’s cancer treatment. While the ultimate outcome of his disease is uncertain, Earl says he believes coming to Provision was absolutely the right choice for him.
“I have not found one person at Provision to be unhappy here,” Earl said. “On a 1-5 scale, I’d rate my experience as a number 7.” “The Provision family became our family away from home,” shared Glenna. “We found in them a true blessing of friendship, and we walked this journey knowing we were not alone.” It should be noted, the Singers delivered blessings of their own during the course of Earl’s treatment. Glenna is a pianist, and regularly regaled the lobby of Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville with praise and meditative songs before and after her husband’s treatment, causing more than one employee to wonder if Provision had hired a musician to be a part of the patient experience.
When talking about cancer, Earl and Glenna Singer speak much more of the blessing than the trial. “Isn’t God good?” said Mrs. Singer. “Blessing upon blessing has been bestowed on us! If the songs I played for the Lord just gave but a moment of comfort, reassurance and blessing to just one patient, then it was worth it all serving Him,” concluded Glenna.