Bill is pictured here with his wife and grandchildren.

Even before Bill Farquhar was officially diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020, he knew he had been put on a mission — to help others.

At 62 years old, he faithfully has annual visits with his family doctor. It’s at this visit last year that bloodwork revealed an elevated prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, level, which indicated the possibility of prostate cancer.

“I was mentally prepared to kick its butt before I actually knew it was cancer,” he said. “At the level my PSA count was, it was a 95 percent or higher chance to be cancer. I had time before my first urology appointment to prepare myself for cancer.”

His was referred to Quincy Medical Group (QMG) Urologist Dr. Matthew Knudson for a biopsy, which confirmed his prostate cancer diagnosis. He had options, and he was grateful to have Dr. Knudson alongside him guiding him through his next steps.

“I don’t know that I could have met a doctor that I made a quicker connection with. He is a very personable guy,” he shared. “I put my trust completely in him after the very first visit. I knew this is a guy I need in my corner and whatever he says, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Together, they determined to move forward with radiation. Farquhar met with QMG Radiation Oncologist Dr. Michael Fallon to determine the best plan, and on the day after Easter of 2021, he had his first of 28 radiation treatments.

While undergoing treatment, he continued working full time in addition to his job as a football and basketball official. He also took the opportunity to share his story with all those he could.

“I’ve actually have taken my experience on as kind of a platform instead of a disease. I’m a strong advocate for yearly physicals and letting people who are the experts tell you what’s wrong with you. If there’s a problem, they’ll get it taken care of,” he shared.

Routine screening is what Farquhar credits for the early detection of the cancer, and he wants to ensure those around him are making annual visits with their doctors a priority. He partnered with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) to further his message.

“Every year when football officials renew their licenses, it’s required that we watch a video put out by the IHSA. I was allowed to provide a 20-second little blurb about how important it is to get checked and how I had found it just through routine bloodwork.”

On May 27, 2021, Farquhar completed his last radiation treatment, a day he calls “bittersweet.”

“Dr. Fallon and his staff were nothing short of amazing. To be with them five days a week for six weeks, I couldn’t have asked for better people to guide me through my treatments,” he said. “They were fun, they were personable. The worst part of the whole thing was not being able to interact with them on a regular basis, it was kind of a letdown at the end.”

He plans to continue to make visits and stopped in right before Christmas to deliver donuts to the staff. A gesture of thanks he said to people who and a place that have now become a part of his life.

“I just have a lot praise for the QMG organization. I’ve been around a lot of things and worked with a lot of businesses through my 62 years, and it’s one of the few places that I’ve ever ran into that 100 percent lives up to their mission statement,” he said. “QMG’s people treated us so wonderfully. It didn’t feel like you were going through medical procedures, it just felt like you were going to visit friends.”