Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients of all ages with different types of cancer go through treatment with hope for the future.
FOOTBALLER’S AUCTION TO HELP GIRL FIGHT CANCER
A former football player from Watford FC, UK has auctioned off a prized football shirt to help 8-year-old Amy Barrett travel to America for cutting-edge cancer treatment.
Amy was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma last June. Due to the location of the tumor at the base of her spine, surgery was not an option, and she was told she had go to America for proton therapy. Ex-Watford FC Nigel Callaghan heard about Amy’s battle when a friend asked him to play in a charity football match to help fund her treatment. A cancer survivor himself, Nigel jumped at the chance to help: “I was fortunate to come out the other side after two operations for bowel and liver cancer. I know how bad it is,” he said. “She is only eight, no kid should have to go through chemo treatments at such a young age.” The match raised £2,500 but Nigel was not content with that, putting his number 7 shirt from his Watford days under the hammer to raise a further £550. “It means a lot to me to be able to help. I’m not a millionaire like most footballers now are, but I am always willing to help anyone if I can,” he said. Speaking to Amy in America via video link at the weekend, Nigel said the young girl was able to raise a smile and thank him for raising the money, despite having just undergone her first week of proton therapy. Amy’s father added: “Not only did he donate time and a gift, he gave us a word of hope and encouragement to fight and continue to fight with the help of those around us. We want to thank him for all he has done, and hope to personally meet him on our return with Amy so he can meet the little 8-year-old girl he has helped.”
4-YEAR-OLD CELEBRATES END OF RADIATION
Ella Phillips-Shimovetz, a 4-year-old girl from Beavercreek, Colorado who is fighting cancer, received a magical surprise to celebrate her last day of radiation, as she was taken to her final treatment at the hospital by a horse drawn carriage fit for a princess.
In May, doctors found a tumor in Ella’s bile duct and diagnosed her with a rhabdomyosarcoma of the biliary tract. She immediately started a 43-week treatment and has responded well to chemotherapy so far. She is also one of the first pediatric patients to complete treatment at the Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, which opened last August. “A lot of people wait a long time to meet their hero. Ella is our hero,” her mother said. As Ella likes horses and dressing up like a princess, her family and friends decided that a carriage ride to her 28th and final radiation treatment would be an appropriate way to combine those two loves and surprise her. “She’s just a good kid and she smiles all the time for us,” her grandmother, said. Ella will continue chemotherapy treatment through the spring to ensure the cancer stays away.
FOUR YEARS CANCER-FREE FROM PROTON THERAPY
4 years ago, Matt Iacobazzo was a pioneer after he completed proton therapy treatment for his prostate cancer. Today cancer-free, he remains convinced of his choice and grateful to the ProCure PT Center where he was treated.
Back in 2012, Matt spoke out about his decision to chose proton therapy to treat his cancer over traditional radiation treatment. His goal was to encourage other men to consider this newer form of treatment, as prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the US. ProCure Proton Therapy Center opened in 2012, where Matt and 2 other men became the first group of patients and formed a group known as the Brotherhood of the Blue Bottle or BBB, named after the blue bottle of water that they had to drink before each proton therapy session to stabilize the prostate. Matt reflected positively about his experience : “Men can be a bit more closed off when it comes to talking about our medical issues. It’s important for us to create a space where we can speak openly about things like prostate health, so that we can get the help we need. This philosophy was integral to the BBB : we were a group that was talking about everything when it came to prostate cancer – fears about side effects, experiences with urologists, the impact of cancer on our family lives and careers,” Matt said. “When I met with the ProCure team, what they were talking about just made sense. It was the best technology, and the procedure was noninvasive,” he said. “I had a holistic experience there – they treat your mind, body and soul.”