John P Yancey HUPTI Graduation

A Journey Come Full Circle: Former Delegate David Yancey’s Father Completes His Cancer Treatment at HUPTI

HAMPTON, Va. (June 1, 2020) As Mr. John P. Yancey III rang the ceremonial bell signaling the completion of his final treatment for prostate cancer at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI), a delighted grin emerged on this face. “It’s so nice to see this day. Let’s sing!” Mr. Yancey exclaimed.

Although every graduation at HUPTI is significant, this day was especially momentous: Mr. Yancey, 79, a longtime Newport News resident and manager of a local real estate company, is the son of former Delegate David Etienne Yancey (R-Newport News), the man who spearheaded the Virginia General Assembly’s decision to pass House Bill #1656 in 2017, which made it illegal for insurance companies to hold proton therapy to a different standard than other forms of cancer treatment, such as traditional radiation and chemotherapy.

The breakthrough came at a critical time – cancer had just surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in Virginia and statistics showed cancer incidence outpacing population growth in the commonwealth for the next 25 years. Alongside Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and Bill Thomas, HU’s Associate VP of Governmental Relations, David fought for over three years to ensure Virginia residents received the best cancer treatment available, despite cost. Ironically, seeing his own father complete his final treatment at HUPTI just three years later serves as a powerful example of a journey come full circle.

“The team at HUPTI has been a Godsend for our family. We are grateful for everything they have done to help,” David said. “We all have realistic expectations, but we’re optimistic. Every moment with dad is a blessing.”

Proton therapy is a non-invasive and millimeter precise cancer treatment alternative that does not require a hospital stay. The advantages of eliminating cancer cells with positively charged ions from a proton beam are significantly reduced side effects and spared healthy tissue surrounding the affected area. Proton therapy is FDA-approved and covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance providers.

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