They call themselves "The Beamer Gang," an eclectic group of proton beam therapy program patients at Mayo Clinic in Arizona with backgrounds as diverse as their personalities. They found themselves woven into a deep and lasting friendship formed by the support they showed one another through proton beam radiation treatments for prostate cancer.
For Ray Mendoza, meeting this group of fellow proton beam therapy patients who were all on the same treatment schedule was just what the doctor ordered after his diagnosis. "I don't know how to explain the feeling of a cancer diagnosis or the feeling you have when you're about to start your first treatment," he says. "We felt so scared and all alone, so meeting everybody like this came at a perfect time for us. It was a relief knowing we weren't, in fact, alone."
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.