For Immediate Release
September 10 , 2013
Courtright youngster meets hero who inspired his fight
LONDON, Ontario – A superhero visited the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) today – actually, make that two superheroes.
When Carter Robbins was diagnosed with a stage three Anaplastic Ependymoma brain tumour at the age of four, it was clear he would have a tough battle to fight. Five surgeries, a round of chemotherapy and 33 sessions of radiation later, Carter had not only fought a winning battle, but he had also earned himself a nickname from his surgeon – “Iron Man”.
“Carter has always been known for his easy-going nature, and his ability to go through any test or treatment without much complaint or fuss at all,” says mom Jeannette. “In fact, he has never once needed to be sedated for any of his MRIs or radiation treatments. He just reminds himself that he’s Iron Man, and does whatever the doctors need him to do.”
After a two-year period free from cancer, Carter – now seven – recently suffered a recurrence of his tumour, and his superhero strength kicked in once again. Staff at the LRCP were so impressed by their “little Iron Man”, that they arranged for Carter’s favourite superhero to surprise him after his final radiation treatment. Together the two Ironmen – big and little – sounded the ceremonial gong that each radiation patient rings when their treatments come to an end. Carter also had the opportunity to show his hero the radiation mask, painted in Iron Man colours, that he wore throughout his 30 treatments.
“It’s important to our staff that our young patients leave LRCP with some good memories – even happy memories – of their time here,” said Radiation Therapist Kelly Ackerman. “We try to ensure that their visits are not just about the treatment, but also recognize the special and unique personalities of each child. When we learned about Carter’s nickname, we knew that helping him channel his inner Iron Man would make his treatments easier and more pleasant. We hope that having his favourite superhero here to celebrate the end of his radiation sessions will put a smile on his face.”
Remarks Jeannette, “We can’t thank the team at the London Regional Cancer Program and the Pediatric Medical Day Unit and Art Therapy Department at Children’s Hospital enough for the kindness they’ve shown to Carter. His care has been exceptional, and this surprise visit by Iron Man is one more example of how far above and beyond they’ve gone for him.”
Note – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
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