Dorothy Stangroom, Gastrointestinal Patient
85-year-old Dorothy Stangroom teaches water aerobics at the YMCA in Towson, Maryland. After her daily appointments at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC), she would return home and continue with her usual activities – including water aerobics.
Dorothy was born in Baltimore, moved around a few times starting in her teens, and has lived in the area since 1966. She started water aerobics years ago and used to do it after work. Now that she is retired, she has more time for exercise as well as reading and spending time with family.
Her referring oncologist suggested proton therapy for Dorothy’s gallbladder cancer. Dorothy met with William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FACRO, the Isadore and Fannie Schneider Foxman Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Executive Director of MPTC.
“Proton therapy was an excellent choice for Dorothy because it reduces radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues and organs, minimizing the risk of side effects in the stomach, bowel, kidneys and other areas,” Dr. Regine says.
Soon Dorothy made a plan to become a patient at MPTC. Her sons took turns driving her from her home in Towson to the proton center. The family greatly appreciated the free valet parking at every appointment, and the fact that the valet drivers knew their names.
“My appointments were easy, painless and prompt,” Dorothy says. “I usually arrived at 2:00 PM and was out the door by 3:00 PM.”
“Everyone is so nice in the waiting room,” Dorothy adds. “You make friends and come away with a good feeling.”
Dorothy’s advice for other cancer patients is: “Keep a positive attitude!”