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By James Ponder
Ken Coley skipped the panic and foreboding stages when he learned he had prostate cancer in October 2011. Instead, he casually picked up the phone and invited his pal Rudy—a 16-year prostate cancer survivor—to breakfast.

As they ate, Ken made up his mind to deal with the disease the way Rudy had: by heading to the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

After getting his questions answered, Ken started proton therapy. "I was treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and consideration at all times," he reports, commending the professionalism and empathy of the Loma Linda staff. Now that his treatments are over and Ken's PSA score is well within the safety zone, he has become a veritable cheerleader for proton therapy.

On an extracurricular tour of the Centennial Complex on the LLU campus, he saw a wall displaying the names of donors whose generosity is helping educate future generations of health professionals. "Seeing that motivated me to do something as well," he recalls. "I am a person of limited means, but I wanted to do this." After talking it over with Penny, his wife, the Coley's went ahead and included Loma Linda in their estate plans.

In describing the process of remembering the organization in his will, Ken speaks highly of Rich Bennett, the planned giving officer at Loma Linda University Health, who answered all his questions and made him feel at home.

"Some people are always wanting more from you," Ken observes, "but I didn't get any sense like that from Rich. My gift, a bequest in my will, isn't that large, but Rich said, 'It takes many bricks to build a wall.' Just like everyone else at Loma Linda, he consistently treated me with courtesy and respect."

Ken offers some advice for people who wonder if their gift, large or small, will make a difference. "Loma Linda is a worthwhile place to put your money to help benefit mankind," he says. "There's a lot going on there, and they outreach all over the world. Making a contribution to Loma Linda is easier than you think. There's nothing to dread. Anyone, especially those who have benefited from the graceful way we were treated, should consider putting Loma Linda in their estate plans."

To learn more about leaving Loma Linda University Health in your will or trust, please feel free to contact Todd Mekelburg at 909-558-4553or

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