Dana and Joyce Becker

Dana and Joyce Becker

We recently received a sweet note from Joyce and Dana Becker.

We had our first contact with them two years ago when Dana was diagnosed with rectal cancer Stage 3. At the time, his doctor recommended a radical surgery to remove the cancer but it would have left him with new health issues to manage.

Joyce says they’re a very resourceful couple so they used the internet to conduct a methodical search for a specialist in a less invasive treatment. Their research lead them to Dr. Keith Block, a pioneer in cancer and integrative medicine.

Dr. Block agreed to see Dana at his clinic but there was still one obstacle to overcome: the Beckers live in Northern California and Dr. Block is in Chicago.

Several years prior to the diagnosis, Dana left his job as an environmental engineer to help Joyce with her event planning business. When the economy started to sour, there weren’t as many clients for Joyce’s business but they managed to get by.

Once Dana got sick they exhausted much of what they had in savings on his tests and early treatments so when they found Dr. Block in Chicago, they didn’t have the money for the plane fare to see him.

Joyce, a former flight attendant, knew that charity airline miles programs might be able to help. She got busy scouring the internet again and found The Salvation Army.

She asked the local Salvation Army unit for assistance and her request was processed through our national headquarters Airline Miles Program. Before long, Joyce and Dana were on their way to spend two days at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment.

Dana at the hospital.

Dana at the hospital.

Through Dr. Block’s resources, they were able to get the kind of advice and information that Dana needed to proceed with a less invasive cancer surgery in May 2012.

Dana had a check up with his doctor on November 19, 2013, and is still cancer free. Thank God for this great news!

Now, Joyce says they can’t walk by a Salvation Army Red Kettle without putting something in. She said, “we never expected to need help from The Salvation Army but everyone has peaks and valleys in life. The Salvation Army was there to help during our valley.”

If you’d like to help others during the “valleys” in their lives, please consider making a donation of your unused airline miles. Click here for a link to the website where you can learn more.

And, if you or someone you know needs help from our Airline Miles Program, they must contact The Salvation Army Corps near them to initiate the request. Please use our online zip code search finder on the right side of the page to locate the closest unit.

Joyce and Dana have learned so much during this process and have insights to share about cancer, treatments, lifestyle changes and more. If you’re struggling with a difficult diagnosis, please contact the Beckers at

Go top