Ron Debol’s Story

Ron Debol’s Story

Ron and Pat Debol of Chanhassen are two peas in a pod. They finish each other’s sentences, read each other’s minds and share a 30-year marriage they wish had started decades sooner. But cancer interrupted their perfect life—more than once.

Together they nurtured a close-knit family full of love and laughter. When Ron learned cancer attacked his right lung, the laughter stopped.

He underwent surgery to have a third of his lung removed and hoped the cancer left with it. With unforgettable family support and the personal care he received from Dr. David Gross, Dr. Clarke Tungseth, Dr. Todd Elftmann and the nursing staff at Ridgeview Medical Center, Ron’s outcome was perfect.

“I was treated like family,” Ron said. “It was a personalized experience I’ll never forget.”

Before his first cancer diagnosis, Ron made a living creating personalized experiences for people. He spent his career running travel incentive programs for corporations, hosting “trips of a lifetime” with his wife, Pat. They traveled the world together, ensuring others brought home a life experience they’d never forget.

But Ron wishes he could forget the news he received last fall—another suspicious tumor was found, this time in his upper left lung. Unfortunately surgery wasn’t an option. The cancer was too close to a vital artery, so Ron started treatment with Dr. Paul Sperduto, radiation oncologist at Ridgeview Regional Radiation Oncology.

Someone told Ron he would hate radiation. Instead, Dr. Sperduto and his staff made the experience positive. “They know you by name and never treat you like a number,” he said. “If there’s anything good about having cancer, it’s the opportunity to be treated by Ridgeview Medical Center.”

For eight weeks, Ron looked forward to his visits with Dr. Sperduto and his encouraging and empathetic staff. Sharing jokes every Thursday (doctor’s orders) helped Ron leave his radiation treatments feeling great—and grateful that cancer care excellence was close to his home.

What is unique about the cancer program at Ridgeview is that the compassionate individualized care comes in the setting of extraordinarily well-qualified board-certified physicians and nurses in many different disciplines. In addition to the Radiation Oncology program, there are experts in primary care, surgery, medical oncology, radiology and, when necessary, hospice. They all work together as a team to provide the most modern treatments in the most personal and compassionate setting. The program is certified by the Commission on Cancer, and physicians have received numerous awards and are active in clinical research. The patients at Ridgeview have access to numerous nation-wide clinical trials. Ridgeview’s board-certified, cancer care physicians have experience with nearly every type of cancer, including lung cancer. They’re dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients like Ron. 

Like Dr. Sperduto and his team, Ron’s an optimist. He knows his loving wife, family and Ridgeview’s compassionate medical staff will continue to make a difference for him.

And it’s people like you who can make a difference for hundreds of cancer patients diagnosed and treated annually through Ridgeview’s Cancer Care Program.

Your gift supports programs, resources and breakthrough technology that ensure Ridgeview Medical Center continues to be a recognized center of excellence for cancer patients and their close-knit families—like Ron and Pat’s.