Contact: NIU Office of Public Affairs
December 6, 2004
Don Young: Among Fermilab’s very first employees, physicist Don Young helped plan and build the neutron therapy facility. More than 20 years later, Young returned to the facility in a different role entirely: as a patient. He chose to pursue neutron therapy after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
“Very definitely, I’m happy to see that this center is reopening,” says the 82-year-old Young, of Downers Grove, Ill. “I feel neutron therapy was the treatment of choice for my particular cancer, which was very far advanced at the time it was diagnosed. I did not have any serious side effects, I’ve been able to carry out my routine activities, and I have had no reoccurrence of any symptoms.”
Rahel Kent: Attorney Rahel Kent came to the neutron therapy facility at Fermilab in 1996, after being diagnosed with salivary cancer at age 34. A California native, Kent first learned about Fermilab’s neutron therapy over the Internet.
“As a criminal defense attorney, discovering that I had salivary gland cancer not only meant that I might lose my tongue, my career and my livelihood, but possibly also my life,” Kent says. “Nine different doctors told me I would have to lose two thirds of my tongue to be free of salivary gland cancer. Discovering neutron therapy and Fermilab changed that reality. I didn’t lose my tongue or my speech. And now, eight years after my treatment, I continue to practice law.”
Richard Kroc: Retired engineer Richard Kroc was diagnosed in late 1998 with prostate cancer, a disease that claimed the life of his father. Kroc traveled from his home in Ohio and spent a month at Fermilab undergoing neutron therapy treatments. His son, Tom, is a physicist at Fermilab who works on the technical aspects of the neutron therapy facility.
“In August (2004), I celebrated my fifth anniversary of being cancer free, so I guess you could call me a cancer survivor,” Kroc says. “The facility at Fermilab is unique because there is no place else in the country that has neutrons available at that energy level. I wrote a short article for a monthly publication in the retirement community where I live to alert people that neutron therapy is available. I’d recommend neutron therapy to anyone who has prostate cancer.”
Delores Cooper: In 1986, Delores Cooper underwent neutron therapy to treat a cancerous tumor in her cheek. Now 78 years old, the Elgin, Ill. resident has had no reoccurrence of the disease.
“I had a lump in the side of my face, where they discovered a tumor the size of a 50-cent piece,” Cooper says. “During my treatment at Fermilab, I didn’t see, hear or feel anything—it was painless. And I didn’t have any side effects. I’ve been cancer free now for about 18 years. It’s marvelous that the neutron therapy facility is reopening. It’s a wonderful facility.”