Brotherhood of the Balloon brunch
Mert Townsend, Dr. Slater, and Mike Long pose in front of the quilt they won at auction for $2,400 and then donated to Bob Markini.
On November 12, members of the Brotherhood of the Balloon (BOB), a national support group of prostate cancer survivors, gathered at the Campus Cafeteria for the 5th annual BOB brunch. More than 150 guests attended the event that serves as an opportunity to meet and greet fellow cancer survivors as well as raise funds to support the Proton Treatment Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
“Nobody comes here by accident,” says Bob Markini, administrator and one of the founding members of BOB. “When we started six years ago, we wanted to provide after-treatment support and communications for prostate cancer survivors. Shortly thereafter, we added informing people about proton therapy to our list.”
Mr. Markini introduced James Slater, MD, the driving force behind bringing proton therapy to the hospital setting.
“He’s probably the smartest and humblest person I’ve ever met,” says Mr. Markini.
Dr. Slater gave an overview of the Center’s goals for the future.
“We’re looking at ways to make the treatment more effective,” says Dr. Slater. Research is a big part of that. The Center will be adding five new research rooms to allow more research on proton treatments.
The group members acknowledged the efforts of Dr. Slater in their own personal lives with a rousing round of applause, and with their checkbooks.
“We realized we’ve been given a gift,” says Mr. Markini. “So we have an obligation to give back to the institution that has saved our lives and our quality of life.”
Judge William Auslen, the 1000th BOB member, donated $10,000 to the James Slater Research Chair. And a quilt hand-made by one of the BOB members was auctioned live, raising $2,400 between two winners, Mert Townsend and Mike Long. The two gentlemen graciously donated the quilt back to Bob Markini to be used as the BOB best sees fit.
In addition, Mr. Markini announced the 2,500th member of the Brotherhood of the Balloon, Jack Holt.
By Preston Clarke Smith