Originally from Mitchell, S.D., Theeler was the first recipient of the $40,000 Joseph and Martha Nelson Scholarship that is still awarded annually to a high-achieving BHSU student in the sciences. He joined the Army after college and completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and served in Afghanistan in 2013.
As the only fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist in the Department of Defense, Theeler cares for patients with incurable types of brain cancer. He sees patients from around the world for second opinions and clinical trial evaluations as a clinical collaborator at the National Cancer Institute.
He says he is motivated each day to do better and be better for his patients.
“For me, that means flying out of bed early in the morning to turn my attention immediately to the patients I need to take care of and spending extra time to work out that new clinical trial that may help my future patients,” says Theeler.