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Bob Marckini Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award

By Susan Onuma
Community Writer
02/24/2016 at 09:05 AM

The National Association of Proton Therapy recognized Bob Marckini with their Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual conference held in New Orleans, LA last month. When the National Association of Proton Therapy (NAPT) chose to honor Bob Marckini, founding executive director, Len Arzt said, “Next to Dr. James M. Slater, Bob Marckini has done more to increase patient access to proton therapy than anyone else. As the founder of the Brotherhood of the Balloon, the only patient advocacy group that can claim the majority of patients treated with a particular modality as members, Bob has provided thousands of prostate cancer patients with objective information that enables them to make informed choices about their care.” Author of the bestselling book “You Can Beat Prostate Cancer”, Marckini has been an advocate for proton therapy since his own experience with the treatment method back in 2000. After his personal experience, Marckini and a few other patients of the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center established an organization called the Brotherhood of the Balloon (BOB). This group is comprised of prostate cancer patients who elected to receive proton therapy as treatment for their cancer. Today, the Brotherhood has more than 8,000 members from all 50 states and 39 different countries. Members represent all nineteen operating proton centers in the U.S. as well as four proton centers in Europe and Asia. Marckini’s daughter Deb (Hickey), who shares leadership responsibilities of the BOB organization with her father, says of her dad, “Helping others learn about proton therapy and calming their fears became his life, and he sacrificed much to keep it going. My dad has made a huge difference in this world because of his compassion for others. I'm overjoyed that he is being recognized for his work in such a meaningful way.” When Dr. James Slater and his team launched the first clinical proton center in the world at Loma Linda University Medical Center in 1990, it was referred to as “a beam of hope”. Through the efforts of his son, Dr. Jerry Slater, chairman of the department of radiation medicine at Loma Linda, that beam of hope is even brighter today, 26 years later. Marckini has carried that message of hope to men around the world. While some in the medical community speak guardedly about the benefits of proton therapy for certain disease sites, all of the Loma Linda patients, and the members of the Brotherhood of the Balloon, are the proton community’s strongest advocates. Marckini’s personal mission is to bring health, healing, and wholeness to those persons with cancer and other diseases through the clinical application of proton therapy. The National Association of Proton Therapy has validated this mission, and has extended their greatest honor to Marckini for his work in this area. The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is the voice of the proton community – providing education and awareness for the public, professional and government communities.