UK doctor competing in Ironman Louisville to help cancer patients

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington doctor is on a mission to fight cancer. Dr. Jonathan Feddock plans to swim, bike and run his way to raising hundreds of thousand of dollars to help cancer patients.

Dr. Feddock is a radiation oncologist dedicated to treating women with cancer like, Carol Harmon of Lexington. He specializes in using radiation implants, a treatment called brachytherapy.

"The implants are my opportunity to give radiation exactly where I want to," says Dr. Feddock.

He does 10 to 12 radiation implant procedures a week and has up to 25 patients preparing for treatment. The numbers are growing. Kentucky has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the United States.

"I am stretching as thin as I can just to get the women I have scheduled in place," says Dr. Feddock.

Dr. Feddock's cancer patients begin their treatment in a room in the basement of the Markey Cancer Center's Ben Roach building. When they're ready for the next step, he and a nurse must take the patient on a gurney through a quarter mile maze of tunnels to the implant room at the UK Chandler Medical Center. The journey takes them through a small lobby and public hallways.

"You're on a gurney and being pushed over bumps and everything else, in the public eye," says Harmon. "It's not a happy journey."

Dr. Feddock wants to combine the two rooms into one radiation suite, complete with new equipment and minus the quarter mile journey.

"I think with these new renovations we're hoping for, there is that data that tells us we're gonna have better cure rates than those we already have. Considering we already have some of the best cure rates in the state of Kentucky, we can only improve these. That's going to benefit people and I think this will allow us to provide an easier treatment for patients that are going tolerate better, with less side effects, and it's going to be a better overall experience altogether," says. Dr. Feddock.

The cost, including all new equipment, is $1.2 million. If Dr. Feddock can raise $200,000 in donations, the hospitals will come up with the rest. He's asking for pledges on a website called Iron stands for Ironman. The doctor is also an accomplished triathlete and will race at Ironman Louisville in August, starting last on purpose. People donating will pledge a certain amount for each person he passes in the race. No matter where he finishes, he believes the cancer patients will be the winners.

"No more transferring patients, no more escorting them down between buildings, and across the hospital," says Dr. Feddock.

Dr. Feddock says he will also pursue some large donors, but he believes if enough people pledge $15, $20 or $50, he can make this happen. The radiation treatment can also be used with other cancers, like prostate, skin, head and neck cancer.

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