Cancer Survivors’ Words of Wisdom
A few of our past patients reflect on their survivorship and what is most important to them:
Ben Smith, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute’s first patient treated with proton therapy in 2006, says that life is about celebration and adventure. “Prostate cancer is a curable disease, and proton therapy is the cure that allows you to keep living . . . It has allowed me to fully enjoy and live my life . . . I have a great life.” Ben has been cancer free since he finished his treatment more than 15 years ago.
Our first pediatric patient treated with proton therapy, David Marz, who was diagnosed with a sarcoma in 2006 at age 16, says he is grateful for time surrounded by loved ones. “Every day matters. I am grateful to have time with family and friends.”
We recently treated our 10,000th patient with proton therapy. Dacia Starratt is thankful to share her story and encourages others to seek regular cancer screenings. “I wasn’t cursed — I am blessed to be able to tell my story,” Dacia says. “It took a routine mammogram to find out I had breast cancer. So now I urge all women to not skip their mammograms.”
Newly cancer free, Lee Moultrie III, is thriving post-treatment by amping up his healthy lifestyle at the age of 65, while also raising his voice to encourage people of color to seek regular healthcare check-ups. “Early detection saves lives,” he says.
For more information about Cancer Survivor Month and for ideas on how to learn more about survivorship, raise awareness about survivorship, and other resources, please visit the AACR website.