Wednesday, city leaders, medical professionals and community members broke ground on the new Hillcrest Cancer Center.
For those who will use the center, it will be much more than just building.
"You never forget that moment, you never forget where you were, you never forget anything about it,” parent Jim Hilton said. “Then you have to decide what you're going to do, where you're going to get treatment."
Hilton’s son Jamie was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 15. They had to travel all the way to Dallas for treatment.
"Traditional situations has been that patients have had to travel either to Temple, or to Houston or to Dallas to get their cancer care,” Dr. Roy Smythe said. “What we've found out is that's not the most appropriate way to care for patients.”
The state of the art outpatient facility will offer treatments like radiation therapy, medical oncology and infusion chemotherapy--all close to home.
"The ability to take care of most cancer problems in the local community is a nationwide trend, it's what’s right for patients, it's what’s right for families," Smythe said.
Hilton’s son later lost his battle with cancer, but his memory remains alive with some of the money raised in his name set aside for the cancer center.
Construction of the facility is expected to start in the next four to six weeks. The project should take up to 18 months to complete