An 18-year-old patient who has been fighting an advanced-stage bone cancer celebrated a major milestone – his final cancer radiation treatment – with a bell-ringing ceremony on Tuesday at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.
Jorge Rivera of Phoenix has been receiving extensive treatment through Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center services at the hospital for more than a year, including radiation therapy on both lungs and his pelvis. He has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that only affects about 200 children and young adults each year in the U.S.
The bell-ringing ceremony marked the end of the patient’s radiation therapy. Rivera was cheered on by his parents and several members of the medical staff who provided support throughout his treatment.
Rivera’s treatment was especially interesting because, as a Jehovah’s Witness, he chose not to accept blood transfusions due to his religion. Chemotherapy often caused his blood count to drop. But his medical team respected Rivera’s decision, and carefully developed a treatment that has helped him to reach this major milestone of progress.