It has been 21 years since an Oklahoma boy became the first in our state to receive a life saving bone marrow transplant.
Now, that young boy is using his treatment to help other children going through the same thing.
8-year-old Cameron Wolff is fighting childhood leukemia.
His grandmother said, “We live a day at a time right now.”
Cameron and his family are hoping a bone marrow transplant will help in this battle.
On their side is Dustin Brown, an oncology nurse at OU Children’s Hospital.
Cameron said, “Sometimes he makes me laugh. Sometimes he makes me smile.”
More than anything, Dustin gives Cameron hope for the future.
At just 5-years-old, Dustin was the first child in Oklahoma to receive a bone marrow transplant.
Doctor George Selby, who performed the transplant 21 years ago, says the procedure is something that will stick in his mind forever.
Dr. Selby said, “It was a humbling experience to have someone literally hand their child over to you and say save their life.”
“It’s pretty stuck in my mind,” said Dr. Selby. “It was kind of a leap of faith on their part to literally hand their child over to us.”
Today, Dustin and Dr. Selby work together.
Dr. Selby said, “I kid around that he’s like my other son.”
Dustin uses his experience to help young patients see they can have a future beyond cancer.
Dr. Selby said, “In some ways, he’s a much more valuable member of the team than the physicians because he can speak from experience.”
Dustin said, “I didn’t know if I could do it or not because it is so close to my heart, I’ve lived it.”
He says he knew long ago this is where he was meant to be.
Dustin said, “It’s really hard but if this is not where God wants you to be, then I don’t think you could do it because it’s just a special place to be on a pediatric oncology floor.”
Dr. Selby says if Dustin had not had the transplant, he likely would have died within a couple of years.
Until Dustin’s transplant, patients had to leave the state in order to receive the transplant.