Bob and Sue Lynch give back to help children and others who need proton therapy
For Bob and Sue Lynch of Sebastian, Florida, the scene they witnessed changed their perspectives on cancer treatment. Four years ago they were at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville preparing for Bob’s first prostate cancer treatment. It was his second bout of cancer, and proton therapy was a relatively new treatment.
“I was in the prostate group with all these old guys,” says Bob, a retired administrative law judge who presided over 25,000 cases during his career. “We were all scared. But then, here come these little kids. Half of them were bald. They had masks on. Those kids weren’t scared. I thought — and I’m sure all the guys around me thought — about what these children were facing. We all had lived full lives to that point, but these little guys were just starting out.”
Months later, after Bob’s prostate cancer was no longer detectable, he and Sue, a retired university administrator, thought about their experience at the Institute. They thought about those children, the staff and his doctor. They had never before encountered so many people who were that deeply invested in the success of each patient. They still consider some of the staff their friends, often swapping emails to keep in touch.
The richness of their experience at the Institute is why Sue and Bob set out to give back to others who were beginning their proton therapy journeys. They made a bequest — a gift in their wills — to help children who need proton therapy.
“The children we saw — the things that proton therapy was able to do — that was just incredible,” Bob says. “Some of the parents had brought their kids from England and other parts of this country. I thought about what it must have been like for those parents. We thought if there was any money left at the end, we wanted to help them.”
Today, Bob is 67 and free of prostate cancer. He and Sue are enjoying 45 years of marriage.
“Wonderful things continue to happen day after day,” he says. “I’m so grateful for the wonderful people at Proton. … That’s the key to it. Once you have a good support group around you, you just keep going forward.”
“Philanthropy plays a very important role at UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. This support ensures that we can continue to pursue advancements in both research and patient care, allowing the Institute to make proton therapy a confident choice for those who need it most.” — Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, Medical Director, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute
Reach out to the UF Health Office of Development at 352-265-7237, or the UF Office of Gift Planning at 352-392-5512.