Following the surgery, David immediately began six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. He said the positivity and care from radiation oncologist Robert J. Amdur, M.D., a professor of radiation oncology in the UF College of Medicine, and his medical oncologist Ashley Ghiaseddin, M.D., made a world difference.
“I had such positive experiences at UF Health,” David said. “There is always a great group of people around who look after me tremendously.”
David quickly returned to work and finished out the school year in December, just under three months following his surgery. This August, the beloved Pace High School teacher entered his 41st year of teaching.
Determined to make that fifth hike, David created his own workout routine. He did a mix of activities, including running the bleachers, bike riding and lifting weights. Periodically, he returns to Gainesville for a medical appointment and when he does, he typically heads to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for some exercise.
“I know I’m not back at 100%,” David said, “but I’m pretty close. It’s been an emotional time for me to be surrounded by loved ones as I try to redeem myself and complete what I had hoped to do last year.”
And this past September, David returned to Arizona for some unfinished business. Accompanied by his wife, two daughters, granddaughters, and former students — and with the assistance of UF Health helping his every step — David completed hike No. 5 through the Grand Canyon.