Rod Courtier

Lung Cancer Survivor

When folks who know Rod Courtier are asked to name an adjective that describes him, they may say: Fun. Funny. Friendly. Colorful. Spirited. Outgoing. Generous. Upbeat. And they are in 100 percent agreement that Rod Courtier is unforgettable.

When Rod enters a room, he brings a smile bigger than life, nonstop jokes and a playful look in his eye that says, “Let’s see how much fun we can have — right here, right now!” Few would guess that at 65, Rod has faced far more than his fair share of losses and hardships, including emphysema and life-threatening lung cancer.

My advice to anyone with cancer is to keep your chin up, and go after it. But then I’m so pigheaded I don’t know the meaning of the word defeat. I’m not gonna quit.

Dr. John Southard, Rod's pulmonologist says that over the years, he has watched Rod bounce back from difficult diagnoses and treatments, always in good spirits, always with a smile on his face. “Rod doesn’t sit around blaming or complaining,” Dr. Southard said. “I have never seen him down.”

Rod says, “What are you going to do? You can feel sorry for yourself, or you can step up to the plate. I never felt sorry for myself, not one minute.”

“I’ve been really lucky from beginning to end, and I was more concerned about the other people who were sad or bitter or in a lot of pain. I wanted to make the environment a little better for them,” Rod explained. “I was also concerned about the nurses who do this day in and day out. The nurses don’t like to see people in pain, and not everybody wins. That’s got to affect them. I don’t think enough can be said about those amazing nurses.”