Pro football player Nick Eason got emotional as he talked about the toll cancer has taken on his family. He's lost several relatives and loved ones, particularly his mother. Eason helped open a cancer center in his hometown named for his mother.
Physicians and staff of Meadows Regional Medical Center formally opened the Iris Wilcox Cancer Center in Vidalia. Eason's $1 million donation is part of an over all $6 million project to provide radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatment in Vidalia.
The center will initially be able to accommodate 40 patients per day. The phase dedicated Thursday will offer radiation treatment. The planned phase two will add chemotherapy. Before this, Toombs Countians had to travel to Dublin or Statesboro for the closest treatment, which meant daily trips for six weeks.
"My mom went through that and I just want to help save other people from that," Eason told WTOC. "To be as blessed as I have been, I'm thankful to be able to share with my community."
Eason graduated from Toombs County High School, played football at Clemson. He played on two Super Bowl teams for the Pittsburgh Steelers and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.