Don’t listen to them

I am reading a great book about the history of cancer – it is called “The emperor of all maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee- just a fantastic book. One point I want to discuss are the naysayers everyone hears when trying to change things. In the book Siddhartha talks about Dr Pinkel at St. Jude’s hospital in Nashville in the 70’s on the cutting edge of pediatric chemotherapy. In 1979 after many years of chemo trials on really sick children he did a little math of how his new thinking on cancer had been effective. Out of 278 kids, 80% cancer free. He wrote “Palliation is no longer an acceptable approach..”. He was referring to a practice not many years before that when it was standard procedure for doctors to let kids die with on intervention – “let then die in peace”.
Sydney Farber and Don Pinkel did not listen to conventional wisdom, they made HISTORY! Whenever I heard “It can’t be done” it makes me think of these amazing mean and what they did to save children of horrible deaths.