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Six-Year-Old Patient Celebrates Last Radiation Treatment

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,  Joseph and his family as well as his James Graham Brown Cancer Center “family”(aka Dr. Craig Silverman and the whole team from the Radiation Oncology Department) had a fun celebration for the boy’s final radiation therapy treatment.  Joseph had a special treat for his favorite doctor – a cream pie in the face topped off by reams of silly string. Click the links below for the local television coverage.

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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 an additional six months of chemotherapy to go in his treatment but his doctors say this was an important milestone is his journey to recovery.

“It’s been really hard at times and sometimes you break down, ” said Joseph’s mother, Jo Renee O’Bryan  “But then there are so many people around you who are supporting you and lifting you back up,” she said.  “He’s a courageous boy, he actually helps to lift us up, too.”

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.”

 

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