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Banner MD Anderson celebrates 25,000 cancer patient bell ringings

More than 115 cancer types successfully treated since 2011 in Arizona and Colorado

GILBERT (March 7, 2024) – Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Division of Radiation Oncology recently celebrated the monumental milestone of treating the 25,000th patient with radiation therapy. Since 2011, Banner MD Anderson has helped treat more than 115 different types of cancer across four facilities in Arizona and two in Colorado.

Successful treatment means these cancer patients were each able to read the following poem before ringing the Soleri bell three times after their final radiation treatment:

“Ring this bell, three times well. Its toll to clearly say, my treatment’s done, this course is run, and I am on my way!”

“We are just so thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone. I’ve been here nine years and since then, I personally have treated over 1,600 of these patients,” said Gary Walker, M.D., radiation oncology section chief at Banner MD Anderson. “It brings me an immense sense of pride just thinking about each one of their faces and how cancer touched their lives, how difficult it was to receive a diagnosis and then go through the treatment. And many of those patients we see in follow up, they’re doing well years later.”


MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston began the bell-ringing tradition to give patients a sense of closure after completing radiation therapy. The bell ceremony can also symbolizes more time with loved ones, and a renewed chance to try things patients may never have dreamed of doing when they first received their cancer diagnosis.

“We have such a fantastic team at Banner MD Anderson made up of people who truly care for patients. This milestone recognizes not only the patients we serve, but the employees who come here to do their job every day, too,” said Robin Bierman, radiation therapy service line manager at Banner MD Anderson. “One thing about radiation oncology is that you get to really know your patients – so everybody is here because they love what they do. That's what keeps our people and our patients coming back day in and day out.”

Dave Crowther is just one patient who received his care at Banner MD Anderson in Gilbert. His journey with cancer began ten years ago when he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Treatment at Banner MD Anderson was successful and all was well until 2020. The cancer had spread and this time, he was treated for cancer in his throat during the height of the COVID pandemic. He was most recently treated for more cancer in his prostate and was able to ring the bell for the third time, cheered on by his wife and the team from Banner MD Anderson.

“Like so many others, I’ve had a long and difficult journey with cancer. Banner MD Anderson has been there for me every step of the way, through every single treatment,” Crowther said. “My wife and family has been so supportive through it all – but getting my care here has truly made a world of difference to me. I am so grateful to all the people here who played a role in that.”

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center delivers cancer care to patients through the partnership of Banner Health and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation and surgical management of the cancer patient; an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care; access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies; state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of all types of cancer; oncology expertise in supportive care services. For more information, visit

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner       MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

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