Here’s The Amazing Way This Mexican Doctor Is Helping Children Fight Cancer
Meet Dr. Sergio Gallegos Castorena, a pediatric oncologist at the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara in Mexico.
Dr. Gallegos isn’t your typical pediatric oncologist.
Every day, Gallegos treats children suffering from leukemia, and he does this dressed as his patient’s favorite character.
“It’s something very surprising, the reaction of each child,” Gallegos told EFE. “They give me kisses, hugs, smiles.”
By wearing a wide variety of costumes, Dr. Gallegos is able to be more than just a doctor to these kids.
“A doctor can save a child’s life, but if he is dressed up as Batman, in the eyes of a child, he has superpowers,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.
Leukemia treatment can take several years, so it’s important for Gallegos to develop a strong relationship with the children that will spend countless hours under his care.
“The idea is that their doctor’s visit will become a special event,” Gallegos told Informador. “An event where they feel loved and feel special.”
Adding this level of care brings joy to the suffering children, as well as to the parents who are suffering just as much.
“The method that I practice allows the whole family to get distracted from the real tragedy,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain. “Parents see that their kid is happy and that means a lot.”
Sergio understands what these children are facing. When he was 17 years old, Gallegos was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
At the time, Gallegos needed treatment that was not available in Mexico. His family went to the U.S. in search of a cure, which involved heavy amounts of chemotherapy.
During this uncertain time in his life, Gallegos said his favorite memories were of the clowns that visited him the hospital.
“Clowns came to visit me in the hospital,” Gallegos told Informador. “They brought joy and good humor. They helped me to forget my sufferings from chemotherapy’s strong side effects.”
This experience forever changed Gallegos’ path in life.
“I got a second chance. I decided to be happy every day and bring joy to people around me. So I went into medicine to treat children ill with cancer,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.
Since joining the hospital, Gallegos has helped more than double leukemia’s survival rate.
“Since my first day in 2007,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain, “I cured 34 percent of patients from lymphocytic leukemia. Today, the number has increased to 85 percent. In fact, it’s not just costumes that do the job. Behind all the fun, there is a lot of hard work.”
“It is worth the effort for the joy, the smiles I see in them. It’s like we’re on the same team. They feel that I am with them in this struggle,” Sergio told EFE.
Dr. Gallegos takes so much pride in his work that it’s nearly impossible to find any photos of him in a regular doctor’s outfit.
With or without a costume, Dr. Sergio Gallegos is a real life hero.
“My motives for doing what I do can be summed up with one word: love,” Gallegos told Informador, “I love my patients.”
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