Gerald Brady’s Story
Gerald Brady, owner of a motorcycle repair shop in Ellabell, Ga., thought he was done with cancer after having surgery to remove his prostate in 2014.
But a year later, a longtime customer and friend said something in passing that gave him cause for concern.
“I said, what are you doing getting radiation? You had your prostate removed just like me,” Gerald explained.
As it turns out, his friend’s cancer had returned. Not fully realizing that having the prostate removed doesn’t always prevent cancer from returning, Gerald decided to act.
Unfortunately, a checkup with his family doctor soon after revealed his PSA levels had risen since the last time he’d had them checked. By the summer of 2017, Gerald was being told he would need further tests, including a bone scan and MRI, to determine if his own cancer had returned.
“My doctor said, you may have more needs than just radiation, but the only way to know is to run these tests,” he said.
So Gerald and his wife, Glenda, began the search for a place in the region that could treat his cancer and would accept his health insurance. That’s when Glenda found The Tommy and Shirley Strickland Cancer Center about 60 miles away, in Vidalia.
There Dr. Henry Cline performed the tests Brady needed, and just as his family doctor had feared, Dr. Cline found that while there weren’t any tumors, there were microscopic cancer cells present in the prostate bed.
For the next eight weeks, Brady would undergo daily radiation treatments making the hour’s drive from nearby Ellabell – about halfway between Savannah and Statesboro – to the cancer center in Vidalia.
On the last day of his treatment, Brady said a feeling of relief came over him as he rang the bell at the center.
“It’s bad enough having cancer, and it’s bad enough having cancer treatment, but to have to deal with it a second time,” he said. “So it was just a relief.”
Today he is back tinkering on bikes in his shop and says he feels pretty good. And when he thinks about everyone at the cancer center, he smiles.
“Those people over there are fantastic,” he said. “From the nurses, to the front desk staff, to Dr. Cline, they are all just fantastic.”