Thrive by IU Health

June 17, 2024

Donors grateful for ‘Wait and see’ approach

Donors grateful for ‘Wait and see’ approach

Brinton and Clarie Farrand’s $10,000 gift to IU Health Foundation came “out of the blue,” but their motivation for making the gift followed a five-year-long path.

The Cicero couple’s journey started about five years ago, when Brinton was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His then-urologist recommended surgery, but Brinton wanted a second opinion. He turned to IU Health, where Clint Bahler, MD, suggested that immediate surgery was not necessary. In fact, if Brinton waited, Dr. Bahler said, a new approach then in trials might become available to him.

The Farrands decided to wait. Meanwhile, Brinton -- a retired Mooresville High School art teacher --continued to exercise (he’s completed eight Boston Marathons), paint and enjoy traveling to art shows with Claire. Along the way, he was bothered by knee issues, kidney stones, an underperforming kidney and other health issues, but he still felt healthy enough to walk five miles just about every day.

Fast-forward to January 2023, and it was time for a follow-up prostate check. That’s when an MRI revealed a new cancer foe: a bladder cancer that later was discovered to be a variant that isn’t responsive to chemotherapy. With surgery now necessary, Brinton’s medical team suggested that it was time to remove his prostate. They also recommended removing his troubled left kidney to reduce stress on his body. Just a few weeks later, he was on the operating table.

Looking back, the Farrands are impressed by the way IU Health physicians initially took the least-aggressive route, but jumped into action when urgency was needed. Now they believe putting off that first prostate surgery probably saved his life. “You don’t want to sit there and think about it too hard,” Claire says. “We really feel like if he had had his prostate removed when they were going to do it, they might not have found the bladder cancer. He had no symptoms.”

Hristos Kaimakliotis, MD, performed the six-hour surgery, and the days immediately following it were rough. “I probably put my wife and the nurses through hell,” Brinton says, adding that he had some vivid dreams that resulted in his trying to pull tubes and wires off of his body. “But the hospital staff was really good with us.”

“The nurses were great,” adds Claire. “They had a lot of different things to regulate on his body. They just did everything they could to help him and make him comfortable.”

Less than a week after surgery, Brinton was back home, pushing himself to walk to the mailbox, then to the neighbor’s mailbox, and then a little farther every day. “I’m back to five miles a day,” Brinton says. “I walked the [Indianapolis] mini-marathon this year.”

Grateful for the expertise, compassion and cutting-edge options that led to such a remarkable recovery, the Farrands decided to support bladder and urology clinical research that could help others in their position. So they quietly sent a $10,000 gift from their donor-advised fund to IU Health Foundation.

“We just want to give to support the clinical research they do to help with these diseases,” Claire says.

“It just came out of the blue,” says Leigh Ann Erickson, senior development officer with IU Health Foundation for the Indianapolis metro region. “It was totally unexpected but very much appreciated.”

For information on how to support philanthropic initiatives at IU Health, visit

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