Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Conqueror of Leukemia in Korea
One of the professors who was instrumental in bringing blood forming bone marrow stem cell research to a point that it could be used in the treatment of Leukemia in Korea has retired from his position at the Catholic University Medical School.
The Catholic Peace newspaper had an article on Professor Kim Chun Chu who worked for 40 years at the university medical school and will go to Cheju -do to continue his work at a hospital on the island. His work enabled the University Medical Team to become the hub in Asia with bone marrow transplants for the treatment of leukemia.
Leukemia is the excess of white blood cells in the blood stream. In Korea before 1983 there was little that could be done. He felt that there was a way and went on to experiment by selling his apartment and putting the money into the experiments: there was no hope in getting financial help. He did succeed and the transplants were highly successful.
There was much speculation on why he chose to got to Cheju-do when he could have gone to many hospitals nearby. He feels a loyalty to the Medical school that gave him his start and did not want to bring any harm to his alma mater in the Seoul area. The necessary infrastructure in Cheju-do has been put in place to perform the operations. One of the junior doctors from Cheju-do was at his side at the medical school for 6 months to accustom him to what will be done in Cheju-do. Professor Kim hopes to be of help to the many who will find it difficult to make the trip to Seoul.
Although he is an authority in his field of medicine he prefers to be called a poet. With his retirement he will have his seventh book of poetry published. His own description of himself is a "life the interior of which was full of cabbage". The needs of time require that he change his place of work . He will have much to do and wants to continue his study and be of service to those who need treatment for blood diseases.