Coach Don & Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence
Home of Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen
A place of hope. Of healing. Of faith, courage and dignity. A place to be honored as an individual, a patient, a survivor. A delicate balance of technology and grace, of reassurance and coping, a place of personal connections.
At Avera Cancer Institute, we know that cancer care is more than treating a disease. It’s caring for the person, recognizing the person as a whole (mind, body and spirit), through each stage of the cancer journey.
Let’s join together as a community and as partners with those living with cancer, to provide sanctuary and a place to turn to when in great need of healing.
Avera has deep roots in the Aberdeen community and for years has offered expert cancer care. We're excited to expand our services under one roof in the Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence. Services include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Patient Navigation
- Genetic Counseling
- Clinical Trials/Research
- Nutrition Counseling
- Surgical Care
- Social Work
- Massage Therapy
- Therapy Services
- Financial Counseling
- Valet Parking
Access to cancer care is easier than ever with Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen. That's cancer care done differently in northeast South Dakota.
Don and Carmen Meyer
The fight against cancer goes on, and there is no one we know who can say they have not been touched by this terrible illness. Whether it is a family member, a close friend or you, we are all affected differently, but the common thread that connects us is life altering.
Though this journey hasn’t been easy, we feel so fortunate to have the Avera Cancer Care Center right here in Aberdeen. Being able to get treatment close to home, family and friends has been an enormous blessing for us. Dr. Richard Conklin and his team are true professionals, and we know that we could not have received better care anywhere else.
Unfortunately, the need for the Avera Cancer Care Center continues to grow exponentially each year. There is not a day when the waiting, treatment and exam rooms are not overflowing with patients.
Your support can help our community step up the fight against cancer.
Please join us in supporting this campaign to construct the new Avera Cancer Institute of Aberdeen. We are confident that this initiative will build on the success and greatly improve the availability of services. We hope you will consider helping us.
The Coach Don Meyer Story
With 923 wins, Don Meyer is one of the most successful coaches in NCAA men’s basketball.
On Sept. 5, 2008, while driving to a team retreat, Meyer fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line, and crashed into a semi-truck loaded with 90,000 pounds of grain.
Meyer, who was alone in his vehicle, sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported by CareFlight to Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, S.D., and then to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.
After hours of emergency surgery, Carmen Meyer was told that doctors discovered slow growing, inoperable cancer in his liver and small intestine.
Meyer, who underwent eight surgeries and had his left leg amputated below the knee, returned to coaching, and within weeks became the winningest men’s basketball NCAA coach in January 2009.
He was presented with the “Jimmy V Award for Perseverance” at the ESPY Awards in 2009 and is the subject of a book, “How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer,” written by ESPN reporter Buster Olney.
Meyer retired from coaching in 2010.
In September 2008, Northern State University men’s basketball coach Don Meyer stood on the brink of immortality. He was about to surpass the legendary Bobby Knight to become the all-time NCAA wins leader in men’s basketball. Then, on a two-lane road in South Dakota, everything changed in an instant.” ~ Buster Olney
“How Lucky You Can Be”
Mission of Hope and Healing Video
Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional non-profits and other mission-aligned organizations in the U.S. and around the world in health, selected place-based initiatives, and education and human services.
In 2009, the Trust created its Rural Healthcare Program to improve access to and quality of care in the upper Midwest. Working closely with nonprofit implementing partners, such as Avera Health, the program invests in projects that improve health care delivery and strengthen the health care workforce in rural communities.
The Trust has a continuing goal to bring state-of-the-art cancer detection and treatment to patients in the upper Midwest. The ultimate goal is that cancer patients will have access to gold standard treatment and expertise, no matter where they live.
The Trust's generous grant of $3.4 million provided for the purchase of a new, fully digital Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator, which offers enhanced imaging and the capability for a full range of state-of-the-art radiation treatments at Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen.
Avera has been honored to receive the Helmsley funding for numerous projects, including Avera eCARE, the Northern Great Plains Oncology Network, intraoperative radiation therapy, digital mammography equipment, CT scanners, and more.
About the Helmsley Gift
Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen is grateful for a generous grant of $3.4 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to purchase a fully digital Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator for its new home in the Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence.
By replacing out-of-date equipment installed in 2003, the new linear accelerator will allow Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen to provide a full range of radiation oncology services that are tailored for each individual.
The Elekta Infinity delivers precise beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells. The machine's capabilities allow high treatment accuracy and optimal positioning, while also reducing radiation dosages. Motion management tools monitor and adjust for changing position of the tumor caused by the motion of the body. Treatment planning software and on-board imaging provide for enhanced precision. The Elekta Infinity offers specialized treatment capabilities, for example, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Thanks to Avera's collaboration with Elekta and the placement of Elekta machines at other Avera loactions, radiation treatment is seamless between Avera locations, should a patient need care at another Avera Cancer Institute site.
Your gift is an investment in critically needed local cancer care.
Mail Your Donation
Avera St. Luke's Foundation
305 S. State St.
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Avera St. Luke's Foundation