Hoosiers Outrun Cancer Supports People Like Rick
This year at Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, Rick McMullen shared his cancer experience and gratitude for the support he received from Cancer Support Community with event attendees. Here's what he had to say about his cancer journey.
Rick (65) has been with his partner in life Mary for over 40 years. Rick and Mary live in Bloomington, where they raised 3 sons together, and lost one at age 24. They started a grant program in his honor to support students who use photography to further their research interests.
Recently, Rick retired from Indiana University as a research scientist. Through his career, Rick used advanced computing to solve problems in the physical and life sciences through modeling and simulation. Shortly after retiring, Rick was diagnosed with bladder cancer (August 2021). At that time, Cancer Support Community hadn't yet opened their doors in the Bloomington office.
Like many other forms of cancer, bladder cancer is treatable if discovered early enough. If the signs are ignored or misdiagnosed, it can lead to loss of your bladder or becoming metastatic and difficult to treat. Overall, bladder cancer has a five year survival rate of 77% and is the 13th most frequent cause of new cancer cases in the U.S.)
"A cancer diagnosis is a life changing thing. Although competent medical care is critical to survival, there are other needs a person with cancer has."
Rick wasn’t sure where to turn until nearly a year after his diagnosis he stumbled upon Cancer Support Community while researching bladder cancer resources online. When he noticed that there was emotional and financial support for cancer patients he was immediately hooked. To his surprise, Cancer Support Community had just recently opened a new office in Bloomington, IN.
“We went by the 3rd Street office and found a treasure: welcoming professional staff, a great set of services for cancer patients.”
After being diagnosed, Rick was searching for someone to talk to who truly understood the cancer patient experience. He was comforted by the community filled with survivors courageous enough to share their knowledge and support.
The best part about the Cancer Support Community for Rick is being surrounded by people who have similar concerns and understand the sensitivity behind everyone’s story.
“Individual professional counseling that CSC provided free was very important to me at that moment in time, making it possible for me to sort out how to go forward.”
Fortunately, Rick had surgery to remove his tumor and is in remission, but is still struggling with thoughts and worries of reoccurrence. While everyone has their own preferences for receiving help or support, CSC offers a wide variety of counseling, nutrition, exercise, education, and social classes to provide hope, strength, and comfort families and individuals facing cancer.
“What CSC has given me has been so important to me, Mary, and the rest of our family that I would love to find a way to give back to CSC not just in dollars, but in time and talent as well.”
Join Rick and Mary by making a gift before year's end to provide hope, strength and comfort to other families in South Central Indiana.