April 1, 2009
Jacksonville, Fla. (April 8, 2009) - Patients gathered as usual in the lobby Tuesday evening (April 7), but this time, a new sound filled the air – piano music. It is a sound that will be heard frequently now that a grand piano is officially commissioned and permanently situated in the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute lobby.
The piano is an anonymous gift from a former patient with additional funding from retailer Keyboard Connection and the piano manufacturer Yamaha. "After touring this place we wanted to make it achievable for the donor and for the proton therapy institute to have not just any piano, but a grand piano," said Keyboard Connection manager Jack Melvin. Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., is the official Yamaha dealer in Jacksonville. Melvin pointed out that studies show the therapeutic benefits of music, especially piano.
Pianist Kathleen Olive gave the dedication performance. She is the minister of music at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, an accomplished professional performer and music educator. A Jacksonville Beach resident since May 2008, Olive is also a two-time cancer survivor having been treated for both colon and breast cancers. She is one of many Jacksonville area professional pianists who are volunteering their time to the proton therapy concert series on the first Tuesday of each month.
UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center, national leaders in cancer treatment and research. UF Proton Therapy Institute is dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and strives to set new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to more than 100 patients a day. For more information about UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.