Brain cancer survivor gets behind-the-scenes look at potentially life-saving research
Derek Lau, 13, was diagnosed with brain cancer and beat it using chemotherapy drugs in 2015.
A 13-year-old brain cancer survivor went behind the scenes to find out how researchers complete clinical trials for drugs meant to fight the disease that almost took his life.
The Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation launched its first Cancer Researcher for a Day event Friday. The pilot project is designed to empower children and youth through their cancer journey.
Derek Lau was diagnosed with brain cancer and beat it using chemotherapy drugs in 2015.
Youshaa El-Abed is a an intern at the Windsor Cancer Research Group and said Lau's story and his positive personality after such a tough battle with cancer are a source of inspiration.
He added it's important to let cancer survivors know that research is a very complicated process.
El-Abed also volunteers at the hospital, where he interacts with people who are battling the disease.
"I can get the sense that people feel like 'Oh, why aren't they doing this or why aren't they doing that,'" he explained. "I just want them to see how complicated and how much work goes into getting a single drug out to market."
El-Abed hopes to expand the program next year and give even more cancer survivors a glimpse into research for a cure.
Lau and his sister will visit Windsor Regional Hospital's Clinical Trials Department on Monday.