Radiation oncologist Richard Deming believes doctors should think outside the patient box. He is gaining the attention and imaginations of patients and physicians alike as he prepares to lead his third group of cancer survivors on a mountain climbing expedition.
He will speak about his innovative cancer survivor program and his holistic approach to patient care during a Thursday, March 29, lecture at Creighton University Medical Center’s Morrison Seminar Room at 601 N. 30 St. There will be a noon-1 p.m. talk, titled “Above & Beyond Cancer,” followed by a 1-1:30 p.m. question-and-answer session. Both are free and open to the public.
Deming, medical director of Mercy Cancer Center Radiation Oncology in Des Moines, is a charter member of the Des Moines chapter of Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation and the recipient of many awards, including a Making a Difference Award from the American Cancer Society.
The Creighton University medical graduate has had a longtime passion for sports, including mountain climbing, as well as caring for the whole patient – during and post-cancer. He mixed those passions in April 2011, when he led 14 male and female cancer survivors on a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, and again in January 2012, when he navigated another group of 19 survivors to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. A third climb is in the works.
“Climbing a mountain is a metaphor that many cancer survivors use to describe their cancer experience,” Deming says. “Only cancer survivors, themselves can articulate the overwhelming sense of accomplishment they feel when they succeed in reaching the ‘summit’ of their cancer journey. … Most cancer survivors come (through the experience) with a better sense of who they are, what their priorities should be, and gratitude for having been give a second chance at life.”
Deming’s talk is sponsored by Creighton University’s chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorship program, Creighton University School of Medicine and Creighton Health Sciences Continuing Education.