Kimberly K. Fu — The Reporter Bill Proestler of 5 Star Car Wash in Vacaville and Fairfield regularly contributes to the University of California, Davis, Comprehensive Cancer Center in honor of his wife and daughter, who are cancer survivors.
Cancer’s insidious fingers first touched Bill Proestler’s daughter, and then his wife.
Ever grateful that both have escaped the disease’s grasp, the local business owner has pledged to support the University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center for its part in their recovery.
Since the early days of 5 Star Car Wash in Fairfield and then Vacaville, Proestler has donated more than $15,000 to the facility and has no plans of stopping.
“We believe in supporting cancer research within our community. Our family has been positively affected by the superior treatment and care at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and we hope others will join in supporting such an important charitable cause,” he said.
Back in 1996, his daughter, Kortney, then 18, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was a horrible time, he remembered, as she underwent a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiation.
The family became close with the medical staff and researchers, he said, and were appreciative of their efforts. Still, they felt a little helpless.
“At the same time I was opening my Fairfield station,” he recalled. “I put out a donation can. Customers threw their spare change in there.”
All of the proceeds went to the UC Davis facility and Proestler continues the practice to this day. When the total in the can comes to about $4,000, he sends a check to the cancer center. There’s no middle man to deal with, he explains, as “We’re putting 100 percent out to research.”
The UC facility shares its knowledge with others in its chain, he said, and some outsiders. The collaborations, he hopes, will one day lead to a cure.
Meanwhile, his daughter has graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in neuroscience.
“She got married, had kids,” he said. “She was told she wouldn’t be able to have kids.”
His wife, Kelly, is also doing well after battling breast cancer.
These days, the family just aims to live a fulfilled life and give back to the community through these donations and the blood drives they frequently host at their businesses.
“We’re just trying to do our part,” he said. “We want to support the local community any way we can.”
In a press statement, Jonathan Evans, director of development at the UC Davis facility, professed his gratitude.
“We are so grateful to Bill And Kelly Proestler along with the staff and customers of 5 Star Car Wash for their tremendous generosity in supporting groundbreaking cancer research and we look forward to partnering with them into the future,” he said.
Veteran newshound with @reporterkim, traded crime & adrenaline for the municipalities of Vacaville & Dixon. Kept the black coffee and occasional cigar.