It's quite depressing to think about a child being burdened with a serious disease like cancer. Seeing a bald-headed child with pale skin is sad, because it's not the way things are supposed to be. And so you might think that a visit to the N.C. Cancer Hospital's pediatric oncology clinic would be a pretty serious and somber place to be. But you'd be wrong.
For starters, it doesn't look like a typical clinic. The walls are vibrant, and there's lots of natural light and windows. Volunteers play with the children and introduce them to innovative games and activities in the colorful game room, while musicians play guitar. You walk in and instantly feel lighter, happy and comfortable. The entire medical team has an attitude of approachability and works together to create an atmosphere where jokes fly freely, along with much laughter. Leading the pack of this fun and loving medical team is Dr. Stuart Gold, associate professor in Pediatrics and the outpatient clinic director of the Pediatric Oncology Division.
Gold's patients describe him as both compassionate and weird. You'll have to watch the video to see what they mean by "weird." But in terms of compassion, Gold gives a lot of his time and energy outside of the clinic to promoting awareness of childhood cancer and raising much needed research funds.
As you'll see in the video, some of his patients have photographed their journey through cancer treatment which culminated in an exhibit called "I CANcer" which was on display at University Mall in Chapel Hill throughout May. It was an opportunity to learn more about a childhood cancer from a patient's perspective. Additionally, Dr. Gold has participated in the "St. Baldrick's Day" event for the last seven years, agreeing to lose his hair each of those years for a good cause. If you're interested in finding out more about St. Baldrick's, visit http://www.stbaldricks.org.