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Transforming Loss into Hope

Apr 11, 2022 8:00 AM

I am fortunate to work with excellent, talented, committed colleagues at Huntsman Cancer Foundation. For all of us, we have sought this work because of our personal commitment to ease the suffering caused by cancer. Brad Bishop is no exception. This month, he shares his personal reason for working to advance cancer research and clinical care. Like every one of us, his reasons are heartfelt and bring urgency and determination to his daily work. Thank you, Brad. See his message below.

Susan Sheehan
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation

By Brad Bishop
Major Gifts Officer
Huntsman Cancer Foundation

I believe in the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute—to eradicate cancer—but I give to Huntsman Cancer Foundation through payroll deduction for a more personal reason. My father. My dad was a bear of a man, active in the National Guard and his community. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 12 years ago, not an uncommon diagnosis, and turned to hormone therapy treatments to control it. My dad was like most men his age; his cancer responded well to the estrogen blocking his natural testosterone, and we were able to keep the cancer at bay for several years. After a while, the therapy became less effective and the cancer jumped to his pelvic bone. My dad lived life to the fullest and passed away surrounded by family and friends.

Shortly after starting work at Huntsman Cancer Foundation, I attended a seminar about high-dose testosterone therapy for prostate cancer. Speakers included Huntsman Cancer Institute's Neeraj Agarwal, MD, and Michael Schweizer, MD, from the University of Washington. Dr. Schweizer described his success using high doses of testosterone to treat male patients with prostate cancer. This treatment seemed to restore the effectiveness of estrogen therapy. The typical patient they described was my dad, and I realized that this treatment, while too late for my dad, would help other men suffering from the same condition.

During my time at Huntsman Cancer Foundation, I have been blessed to work with families who believe, like I do, in “paying it forward.” I am continuously inspired by those who transform personal loss into gifts of hope for others. They remind me that we are one human family, and this kindness and grace motivates me to do more. Huntsman Cancer Institute wasn't able to help my dad, but my donations fund research that will help someone else's dad. I can't think of a better legacy for my father than that.

Susan Sheehan

President and COO, Huntsman Cancer Foundation