Gerry Leiske

"I am thankful to Drs. Jonas and Algis Sidrys and Cookeville Regional Medical Center for helping save my life!"

Gerry Leiske, a music industry executive in Nashville, recently came to CRMC for his 39 prostate cancer treatments. Despite his close proximity to world-class facilities like Vanderbilt, he chose Cookeville Regional for its state-of-the-art technology and quality of care.

"When my doctor found that my prostate-specific antigen levels were too high, he referred me to a specialist for a biopsy," said Leiske. "The report showed that I had a Stage 2 or Stage 3 tumor on my prostate gland. I was shocked, because nobody had cancer in my family, and I was a clean-living guy."

Unsure what the best course of action might be, Leiske called his nephew, an oncologist in Dayton, Ohio, who suggested tomotherapy and explained how it could administer radiation from 360 degrees and could pinpoint the desired area that needed to be treated.

"I liked the idea, but the nearest tomo machines were in Knoxville and a place called Cookeville," said Leiske. "I did a MapQuest search and found that Cookeville was only 80 miles from our house. It was like an answer to prayer!"

On Jan. 20, 2009, Leiske became the first patient to test CRMC's new TomoTherapy® HiArt® machine.

"I left at 6:30 a.m. and was back in the office at 10:30," said Leiske. "The experience was painless, and I experienced very few side effects. Thirty-nine visits later, on March 12, I completed the treatment. With a huge celebratory chocolate cake in hand and many goodbyes, I was on my way back to Nashville.

Five weeks later, at Leiske's first after-treatment checkup, he learned that his PSA level had dropped from 7.6 to 2.6.

"That was a glorious day," said Leiske. "I am thankful to Drs. Jonas and Algis Sidrys and Cookeville Regional Medical Center for helping save my life!"