Ben’s Story

Meet Ben

Ben McAllister was a vibrant and active 23-year-old man living in Minneapolis after graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 2014. He was working for a growing financial start-up, Core Income. He was intelligent, athletic, and handsome, and his friendly, likable demeanor was unmistakable to all he met and befriended.

During a visit to his hometown of Bloomington, IL, he was taken to a local hospital complaining of severe pain in his lower back. Upon discovering a very large mass on his kidney, he was immediately admitted to the University of Chicago and within a week was diagnosed with a very rare kidney cancer – Translocational Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Dr. Peter O’Donnell met with Ben and his family to help share about how rare this cancer was – less than 200 cases ever reported. Ben began treatment under the care of Dr. O’Donnell to combat tumor growth within the kidney and the metastasized areas of the lymph nodes and chest.

After two months of living at home, Ben made the decision to return to work and live in Minneapolis where he continued various chemotherapy and radiation treatments for more than 6 months. He so wanted his life to be as normal as possible in spite of this stage IV cancer that was raging inside of him. Unfortunately, there was no treatment that could slow down this cancer. He began immunotherapy in July of 2016, but it proved to be unsuccessful in slowing down this powerful cancer.

Ben lost his battle on September 12th, 2016, only ten short months after being diagnosed. He remained strong and positive throughout his battle and chose to live out his life among his friends and family while undergoing treatment. He did not want to be defined by his cancer.

Ben lived his life as if he knew it would end far too soon. We could all learn so much from knowing Ben or hearing his story. He was always having fun, making people laugh, and knew how to fully enjoy each moment. He would never pass up a good meal, a good drink, or a good time. And most of all, he never took his relationships with his family and friends for granted. He loved above all else.