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Old Friends

old friends

You know those old friends who make an impact in your life? The ones who will always be there for you, even when you’ve lost track of time? Some are old colleagues, high school friends or best friends from growing up. For me, my old friend is Dr. Nix, my pediatrician. It may sound odd, but it’s the truth. I honestly believe I would not be here today if it wasn’t for Dr. Nix. My parents took me to Dr. Nix to have my yearly vaccines, for the common cold and other childhood ailments. But in 1982 when I was 6 years old, they took me to see Dr. Nix for a spot under my arm that wouldn’t stop itching. It would last for days. When my parents took me in to have the spot looked at, Dr. Nix became worried and referred me to Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Within a week I was diagnosed with Malignant Lymphoma.

Luckily, Dr. Nix caught it early enough and Texas Children’s Cancer Center was able to treat my cancer. Back then, my mom dropped me off at the doctor’s office and the nurse would take me to school after my treatment, then the school bus brought me back to the office for treatments. Dr. Nix made it very convenient for my parents when they couldn't make it to Houston all the time. We moved to Fort Worth when I was around 12 or 13 and sadly, I stopped seeing Dr. Nix.

It wasn’t until a few months ago when I was telling a friend about my cancer treatment that I remembered how grateful I am for Dr. Nix. At that moment, I knew I needed to go see him. I wanted my wife and kids to meet the man who I believe saved my life. I was nervous to see him at first, it had been 25 to 30 years since the last time I had seen him. As he rounded the corner, we immediately began talking. It was like it’d only been a month or two since catching up laTexas Children's Pediatricsst. Being able to see Dr. Nix again, and to have my wife and kids meet him, was an amazing experience. We were able to go out to lunch and spend the afternoon catching up. I was able to properly thank him for diagnosing me early, because without him I might not be where I am today.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. That’s 20 years of providing excellent care, like the care I received when I was a patient. I am so thankful that Dr. Nix is a Texas Children’s pediatrician and that he is impacting lives every day, just like mine.

Joe Childress, former pateint