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Anthony “Tony" Benchina, MD

Anthony “Tony" Benchina, MD

Stage IV Lung Cancer Survivor; Patient Advocate

Tony Benchina, a retired family practice physician, found himself on the other side of medicine when, in September of 2012, he was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  A still young 68-year-old whose passions included cooking, ballroom dancing, travel and gardening was suddenly in the midst of scans, tests, invasive diagnostics and chemo. His experience with lung cancer didn’t end there, though. Tony and his wife moved during all of this from Cullman, Alabama to Tampa, Florida where he transferred his care to Moffitt Cancer Center.  The outpouring of love, care, concern, help and hope from family, friends and church members has helped modify the emotional toll and—despite a resurgence of the cancer in the Fall of 2013—Tony continues to pursue life and living. Reading, visits with family, and working out at the gym round out his day.  But it’s his goals—stored on his iPhone for easy access—that keep him going: stay alive, get stronger, spend time with family, travel again, and the one goal he’s already reached? Stay alive to see his now 1-year-old granddaughter, Olivia.

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