Treated 2008 · Posted 2011

"It's a great blessing to know that God directed me to Loma Linda and I love to share my story with all."

It was January 9, 2008. Jolted by what seemed to be a cap pistol firing up my backside, the urologist calmly removed 10 biopsies from my prostate. For some 8 years my doctor and I had watched my PSA creep from 3.1 to 3.8. With the digital exam normal, there was no pressure to biopsy. However, in the summer of 2007, the number spiked to 4.8 and the follow-up in October registered 5.0.

So here I was on his table getting popped by his biopsy "pistol." Two weeks later, I sat in his office thinking about my life, growing up in Texas, my future plans and priorities. My life as a physically active father of two beautiful grown daughters, as a teacher, administrator, pastor, and fund-raiser, were compressed into the moment as I heard the word macho John Wayne called the "Big C." No man feels macho when that word crashes his eardrums…Thankfully, Gleason 6 offered hope. However, a post-biopsy PSA some 60 days later rendered another spike to 6.1. It was time for action.

The urologist encouraged the "shock and awe" of prostate extraction which fell on deaf ears. Radiation seeds were the first choice and radiation beam the second. I knew about Loma Linda as my older brother had attended medical school there many years ago.Then I read Bob Marckini's book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer, and warmed to the idea of checking out proton therapy more carefully. It impressed me that Marckini was a medical layman who'd really done his homework. He had no preconceived ideas or a career bias. So, less than five months after my diagnosis, I was being fitted for the treatment "pod" at LLUMC as a number of providential circumstances had unfolded.

My first impression of the James Slater Proton Center was that it's awesome! But as someone said about its visionary, Dr. James Slater, "He thinks enormous thoughts about small things." The more I got acquainted with the technicians and the support personnel; I knew that God had brought me to the right place! Of course, who couldn't appreciate the balance of professionalism and compassion under the care of my superb radiation oncologist? And his assistant enabled me to feel like a valued person instead of just another number in the program. Moreover, understanding that the Bragg's peak concept as explained by the Loma Linda physicists was limiting collateral damage by the proton radiation was comforting as well.

I never told my employer how much fun I was having with fellow proton guys and their spouses. Especially great was the mountain biking with my new buddy and fellow proton zappee, Joe Gadd, of Denver. It was truly a "radiation vacation." I soon settled into the mind-set that even if the proton therapy turned out to be unsuccessful, I knew in my heart and mind that I'd made the best choice given there are no guarantees this side of eternity.

After therapy, my internist and I watched my PSA drop from the high of 6.1 to 3.1 to 2.4. Less than two years later my internist read 0.9 and she got a big hug!

While conventional wisdom says proton therapy does not improve BPH problems, mine has improved. Before treatment, I averaged three get-ups nightly. Now the number is two. Occasionally I get up three times and just as occasionally

It's a great blessing to know that God directed me to Loma Linda and I love to share my story with all.

The first of January I began my dream job. To say that at age sixty-five is a great blessing! Asian Aid was founded by two "Mother Teresa" types some forty years ago in Australia and now has an office in Collegedale, Tennessee. The non-profit sponsors more than 8,000 children in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. If not orphans, the children are the poorest of the poor whose opportunities are nil. We also support a leper colony and schools for the blind and hearing-impaired. Construction begins in Bobbili, India in March for a new orphanage that will house more than 200 precious children! Our mission is based on the words of Christ in Matthew 25 as we seek to serve "the least of these."

My first assignment was a life-changing trip to India and Nepal. In less than three weeks, I logged more than twenty-five thousand miles, sixteen legs on seven different airlines, about 1,000 miles of driving, while I visited ten of our institutions. Thank the Lord and Loma Linda for good health!

My mantra of thankfulness goes like this: "Everything works and I'm not wearing a diaper. God is good!"

Please check out and/or our Facebook page. Or email for more information. Thank you!

proton treatment

proton treatment

"I have not spent one dollar on medicines or follow-up procedures in my 20 years post-proton treatment."
- Wayne Swartz, BOB Member
"You owe it to yourself and to those who love you to safeguard your quality of life. Surgery will not do that ... proton therapy can."
- Jeannie Chase, Spouse
- Warren Johns, BOB member
"15 years have passed since exposure to the penetrating power of the proton and the superb medical skills of the 'beam team.'”
"The procedure was a breeze. It has been 10 years and I feel GREAT.”
- Tom Wright, BOB member
"As long as I live, I will do everything I can to spread the word about proton treatment.”
- Jim Tuggey, BOB member
"I am celebrating 8 years post-treatment with no recurrence, no side effects, and not one more penny for medications."
Robert T. Gore, M.D. F.A.C.O.G.


The Purcell's fairy tale life came to a halt when the doctor diagnosed Pat with prostate cancer. 

Little did they know that 25 years earlier, a doctor 1,200 miles away risked his entire career to pioneer proton treatment with virtually no side effects. “Against All Odds” follows a couple’s desire to fight cancer and unveils the historical account of a doctor’s passion to discover a better treatment option.

Watch the video.

Questions? Ask us anything.

Proton Therapy Advantages:

· Less damage to healthy tissue
· Non-invasive, painless

· Outpatient setting
· No recovery time
· Lower chance of recurrence
· Few, if any, side effects

Want to talk to former proton patients? Just ask.

You Can Beat Prostate Cancer — NEW Edition Available

Written by former proton therapy patient and BOB founder, Robert Marckini

Buy it on Amazon.