In the mid-90s, when Chip Hare was a standout on the University of Dayton’s basketball team, he had no idea that a much more serious opponent waited for him down the road— cancer. But, with the technology, compassion and convenience offered at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC), Chip waged the game of his life and won.
It started out with swollen glands. Chip decided to get them checked out. When the doctor told him “Hodgkin’s lymphoma” he couldn’t believe his ears. “The shock settles in, and you can’t believe it’s happening to you. Of course, a million thoughts ran through my mind.” Chip’s physician practiced in Cincinnati, so the drive back to Piqua gave the athletic director at Edison Community College some time to think.
Chip’s father-in-law died from lymphoma, so sharing the news with his wife was particularly tough. Chip’s oncologist in Cincinnati had a very good reputation throughout the Midwest.
But, the drive to Cincinnati was exhausting. “I did six months of chemotherapy and one month of radiation. I drove to Cincinnati four times a month.” His physician was concerned about Chip driving down to Cincinnati every day for the radiation treatments. After some research, she recommended he go to the Cancer Care Center at UVMC.
After meeting the staff at the Cancer Care Center, Chip met Dr. Setzkorn and knew he was in the right place. “I felt very comfortable. They walked us through a simulation of the radiation—everything from A to Z.” Chip was impressed with the caring attitude and sensitivity to not only tackling the disease, but also meeting his emotional and mental needs at the time. “Looking at it from an athletic perspective, we needed to finish strong and UVMC did a great job in helping me close the game strong.”
Needless to say, a 10-minute drive for radiation treatments was much more appealing. But, Chip wanted the best care by the best people and was willing to drive a long distance for it. The staff and care at UVMC was beyond compare as far as Chip was concerned. “There was a plan and they shared it with us. From day one to my last treatment, it was great care.” Three weeks and 18 treatments later, Chip said nothing happened to him physically that he didn’t expect, thanks to the preparation he received from the staff. “The side effects were minimal, and I was able to go to work, come to the center, get the radiation and get back to work 45 minutes later, like nothing had happened.”
Back in the Game
Chip, who lives in Miami County with his young family, calls the Cancer Care Center at UVMC a “jewel in the community.” The level of competency, combined with homegrown compassion, works to make the Cancer Care Center a special place for cancer care. “They allowed me to get the quality of life back that I chose. I can live knowing we did what we had to do to conquer this disease and move on.”
Chip has been involved in athletic team competition most of his life, but the battle he waged against cancer involved a team of a different sort...a team that helped him get back in the game of life. And, for that, he is grateful.