A 6-year-old Nigerian girl with brain cancer is about to make history at OU’s Stephenson Cancer Center.
Next week, Nifeah Aruna will become the first pediatric patient to finish proton therapy.
Proton treatment has the ability to send high-doses of radiation to very specific areas, thus preserving the surrounding tissue.
Nifeah, who wants to be a doctor someday, completed her 25th proton therapy session in the past 25 days. She has five more treatments next week.
The girl’s mother Tina Aruna says their family didn’t travel 7,000 miles to fail.
“As a mother, I am determined to do all I can. She’s a fighter,” she said.
Stephenson Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist Dr. J. Spencer Thompson says there are many reasons to remain positive.
“She’s at risk for a lot of things that we worry about long-term down the road. The tumor she is dealing with has a very high likelihood of being controlled. 60 to 80 percent of these tumors will go away after this radiation,” he said.