Kingsley Couple Survives Cancer, Donates Diagnostic Tool

Jon and Kathy OlneyJon and Kathy Olney of Kingsley know a thing or two about cancer. They have each experienced that heart-stopping moment when a doctor says, “You have cancer.”

For Jon, it was prostate cancer in 2011. For Kathy, it was breast cancer in 2016. Both received effective close-to-home treatment that left them healthy – and thankful. From diagnosis through treatment and follow-up appointments, all of their cancer care took place in Traverse City.

“We’re just so grateful we got things taken care of and it was not worse than it was,” Jon said. “Being able to go home at night and continue doing as much of your normal routine as possible makes it a whole lot easier. I had four appointments between diagnosis and surgery. In six months, it was all wrapped up.”

Kathy’s breast cancer was diagnosed in April 2016 through a routine mammogram. Surgery in June was followed by 24 days of radiation therapy at the Cowell Family Cancer Center. She will continue to take oral chemotherapy for five years.

Jon, 59, returned to his job on the Great Lakes, piloting foreign freighters to their destinations. Kathy, 58, retired from her career as an insurance agent.

Expressing Gratitude

After the couple’s second successful face-off with cancer, they wanted a tangible way to express their gratitude and contacted Munson Healthcare Foundations. Having benefited from daVinci robotic surgery for his prostate cancer, Jon understood the importance of having local access to the latest medical technology. “We wanted to support a project that was nearly funded – we wanted to push it over the finish line,” Jon said.

They found the perfect fit. Their gift of $25,000, with a half match by another donor, helped fund the $450,000 UroNav Fusion Biopsy System. Cowell Family Cancer Center oncologists had identified the UroNav approach to biopsy as crucial to offering patients the very best in prostate cancer care. UroNav is a leading diagnostic tool that is becoming a new standard of care for early detection and active surveillance of prostate cancer.

“Breast cancer gets a lot of publicity – and rightly so,” Jon said. “Even NFL football teams wear pink. But prostate cancer is different. Men suffer through it in silence. This machine will help men get the most accurate diagnosis possible close to home.”

Top Technology Close to Home

A local urologist spearheaded bringing UroNav to northern Michigan. UroNav allows doctors to identify and sample aggressive tumors that may otherwise be missed. The UroNav system allows for targeted biopsies of suspicious lesions detected on the MRI. With 3-D imaging, it also tremendously improves the detection and differentiation of high- and low-risk prostate cancers. And that can mean a huge difference to a man with prostate cancer.

Learn More 

To learn how you can help, call 231-213-1150.


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