A pie in your doctor’s face may not be the normal celebration for your last radiation therapy treatment, but for six-year-old Joseph O’Bryan, it’s a sweet victory towards his next steps to beating cancer.
On Tuesday, September 4, at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Dr. Craig Silverman and the whole team from the Radiation Oncology Department celebrated with Joseph (with a pie in the face and silly string for all) to mark the end of his treatment. In addition to friends and his JGBCC family, TV stations were there to record the momentous event. To see media coverage or to link to a photo gallery, go to our blog.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor (medulloblastoma) in July of this year, Joseph has undergone craniospinal radiation daily for the last six weeks at JGBCC, as well as chemotherapy at Kosair’s Children’s Hospital. The little boy still has a little ways to go in beating his cancer but his doctors say he is well on his way to recovery.
Joseph loves coloring, drawing and jumping on his pogo stick, and he is a UK Wildcat fan.
Though the James Graham Brown Cancer Center primarily serves adults, the center treats approximately 40-50 pediatric patients for radiation oncology annually.
For more than 10 years, Dr. Silverman has treated pediatric cancer patients at the JGBCC. As part of a long-standing tradition, he has given them the chance to do something crazy and fun – whatever they wish – to celebrate their final radiation therapy treatment.
“Though what we do (in radiation treatment) is not painful to the child, it is a frightening experience to be in a room, restrained and no one able to be next to you,” explains Dr. Silverman…. “By letting them do something to me, it gives them some of that power back.”
He added, “When things are tougher, it gives them a goal to look forward to. In the process, they can have fun and bond with the staff.”