Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping cancer patients from all over the world overcome life-threatening challenges.
EYESIGHT RECOVERY WITH PROTON THERAPY
Brave Evie Hughes, a 6-year-old from North Wales who was told she would be permanently blind in one eye after she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, has stunned doctors to see again thanks to proton therapy treatment in the USA.
Evie was diagnosed after her schoolteacher recommended that she go for an eye test, and an optician found that the youngster was blind in her left eye and sent her for tests at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. After an MRI, her parents learned that Evie had craniopharyngioma, a rare type of brain tumor, and would need proton therapy in the US. They held fundraising events in their community and launched a fundraising page, and raised an impressive £2,500 through crowdfunding along with further donations and events. Now Evie has finished her treatment at UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Florida and was able to ring the bell in hospital to celebrate being signed off. Against all odds, her sight is now beginning to come back thanks to proton therapy. Evie’s mom said her returning vision is something doctors have never witnessed before. “I feel like I have won the lottery, better than that even because Evie is starting to see again. All the medical people said she would be permanently blind in that eye. But ophthalmologists in the USA confirmed her peripheral vision is returning, something they have never witnessed before and called it a miracle,” she said. “The doctors won’t be able to say for certain if the proton therapy has been successful for another six months, she’s due to visit Alder Hey next week for a check up and there will be regular visits for the next few months.”
LIFE AFTER PROTON THERAPY
Steven Snyder of Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina, a former proton patient and member of the Brotherhood of the Balloon (BOB), was treated with proton therapy at MD Anderson in 2016.
Today Steven is feeling great and cycles 150-200 miles per week. “I’m as healthy as an ox!” Steve says. “I would like to thank the BOB for guiding me to the data I needed to support my battle with Blue Cross Blue Shield for proton therapy. Also, without reading stories of denials and appeals from former patients and BOB members, I may have given up; those stories gave me hope to fight on… Thank you also for publishing your newsletter. Without it, my health would not be what is it today.” Steve just cycled from the mountains in western North Carolina to the coast, which is more than 500 miles! If you’re interested in learning more about proton therapy, visit the Brotherhood of the Balloon website. If you’ve already received proton therapy for prostate cancer, don’t hesitate to sign up to become a BOB member, it’s free!
MOTHER CELEBRATING END OF TREATMENT
Hauli Gray, a mother from Oklahoma who has been battling breast cancer for a year, is celebrating with her family after she was able to ring the bell at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center, signifying she beat cancer.
Hauli has battled breast cancer for approximately a year and has already undergone multiple treatments and surgery. Ultimately, her doctors said they felt like proton therapy was the only real option for her, because her cancer was so close to her heart that they feared traditional radiation would put her other organs in danger. As Blue Cross Blue Shield Oklahoma denied her claim for proton therapy multiple times, she learned in early May that ProCure Proton Therapy Center would cover the costs of her treatment. Last Saturday, she finished her final radiation treatment and had a “ringing of the bell” ceremony, signifying she has beat cancer. “I just finished my last treatment, I had a total of 34 radiation treatments. It’s been hard. I feel overwhelmed, I feel joy right now, I’m so excited,” she said. “I know it’s not completely over, but I just feel like I’ve finished the hard part. This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”