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 recover faith in their future.
YOUNG BERTIE HALFWAY THROUGH TREATMENT
Bertie Miller-Grossett, a brave 3-year-old from Warkworth in the UK who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, is more than halfway through his proton therapy treatment.
After having had his brain tumor removed last year, Bertie is now undergoing a specialized form of radiotherapy called proton therapy in America. A special Facebook page entitled “Bertie the Brave” has been set up and last Thursday his parents posted an update, accompanied by a heartwarming photograph. The message said: ‘Halfway there; today Bertie had his 15th treatment! On the way to the Proton Centre this morning Bertie said, I love Proton, especially Brian. Bertie and Brian have struck up a special friendship and here they are today doing Bertie’s now famous muscles pose!’ The youngster is in America with his parents, Gemma and Claire, and younger brother Sebastian. An online fund-raising page has been set up to support them at tinyurl.com/yb7czyca.
NASAL CANCER SURVIVOR
When Chris Williams began experiencing common cold symptoms such as a stuffy nose and earache, he never imagined it would lead to a serious condition.
“One day, I suddenly began slurring my speech,” Chris recalls. He immediately went to the emergency room, and after completing an MRI, doctors informed him he had a cancerous tumor in his nasal passages. He was then referred to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where doctors recommended proton therapy to treat his nasopharyngeal cancer. “Proton therapy was able to protect my optic nerves, brain stem, teeth and jaw. Also, it has fewer side effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite and dry mouth compared to traditional radiation. Knowing that helped lift my spirits,” Chris shared. He began treatment in April 2014 and completed a total of 35 treatments. He is now giving back as an active participant on a Facebook support group that helps raise awareness on nasopharyngeal cancer. He frequently shares his experience with cancer patients to help provide the emotional support needed by many. Today, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and three dogs. Whenever he has a chance, he loves trying new foods from different cultures while mastering his culinary skills. “Life is fantastic. Maybe one day I will open my own food truck serving authentic Filipino food,” he said.
THOUSANDS OF POUNDS RAISED FOR TEENAGER
Owen Thomas, a 15-year-old from the UK who was diagnosed with a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma just two days before Christmas, needs proton therapy in the US.
Owen need proton therapy in Jacksonville, Florida, and hundreds of people have given a huge boost to help him battle his rare cancer. The Welsh NHS has agreed to fund his 10-week radiotherapy treatment, but his family want to be at his side and they are now desperately fundraising to be with him. Friends and family rallied round to try and raise as much money as they could to help, and raised over £3,000 at a charity car wash event. Owen’s aunt wrote online: “Yesterday was amazing! I can’t thank each and everyone of you. As a family it was overwhelming to see how much support Owen has, there were tears but I can promise you they were happy ones. If Owen can fight as hard as you guys worked then he is going to be just fine.”