News Column

Friends organize benefit for man battling cancer

June 17, 2014

By Maggie Kiely, The Eagle, Bryan, Texas

June 17--Friends of a College Station native who's been fighting a rare cancer for seven years aren't just throwing a party to show their support -- they've organized an entire festival for him.

The event -- the first Craft Beer & Music Festival Poolside sponsored by Barracks Townhomes -- will start with a golf tournament at 8 a.m., followed by live music poolside at 1 p.m. and a ticketed dinner and afterparty with a disc jockey at 6 p.m.

It will take place at the Phillips Event Center at Briarcrest and all proceeds will benefit Jace Arbuckle, a 29-year-old who was diagnosed with thymoma at the age of 22.

In the years since, Arbuckle has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and survived a massive surgery as the cancer has repeatedly disappeared and returned.

Shortly before being married March 14, 2012, in Costa Rica near his wife's hometown, more tumors were discovered and, upon his return from the honeymoon, Jace Arbuckle began receiving another round of chemotherapy.

But the treatments weren't making enough of a difference, and in August 2012 he underwent surgery to remove his right lung, diaphragm and a rib.

"With Jace's cancer, the cells mutate into untouchable things, they get stronger and stronger," said Jeanne Arbuckle, Jace Arbuckle's mother.

After the surgery, she said, "everything that could go wrong did."

Before the operation, Jace Arbuckle had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that further complicated his post-surgery recovery.

He spent more than four months gaining strength in hospitals before being released in time for Christmas 2012.

The following October, Arbuckle went in for a checkup and tumors were discovered on his esophagus. After undergoing proton radiation, he returned for scans this past February and appeared to be cancer-free.

But when he went back for a routine scan last week, doctors detected tumors on the back of his thoracic wall. Hearing that the cancer was back was hardly news for Arbuckle.

"I think by now I expect bad things, so I more just look for what I want to do next," he said.

The veteran patient and his team of doctors will meet Wednesday to plan their next battle.

Jeanne Arbuckle said the focus of Saturday's event wasn't about raising money, but about celebrating her son. "He's Superman, and I'm not exaggerating," she said. "He's never once thrown himself a pity party."

Tickets to the event, which is expected to become an annual affair, can be purchased at

For more information, visit


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Source: Eagle (Bryan, TX)

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