JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A little boy battling a rare type of cancer has wrapped up his final proton therapy treatment in Jacksonville on Tuesday.
The family of 20-month-old Noah Edgar traveled all the way from England, nearly 4,300 miles for the life-saving treatment.
After his last treatment, there was still one very special tradition he had to take part in before saying goodbye.
Noah’s last treatment at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute was like a victory lap. His parents are inspired by his strength and doctors are sad to see him go.
Noah had to be under anesthesia for the treatment. Proton therapy is highly specialized and targets only his cancer cells.
“Hopefully we'll be cancer free,” said Rob Edgar, Noah’s dad.
Noah has a prosthetic eye from retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina. It only accounts for 3 percent of all childhood cancers.
“This is the last time you have to do this little man,” Noah’s mom Gemma Edgar told him during his last treatment.
But on a day of goodbyes and 'lasts,' Noah also had a 'first.' Keeping with tradition, he had to ring a chime, signaling his proton therapy treatment is over.
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The chime is dedicated to a little girl from Australia, Audrey Anderson. She's not much older than Noah. She rang it for the first time three years ago and hundreds have since.
Tuesday morning, surrounded by new friends, family and staff, it was Noah's turn.
Noah's mother, Gemma, is battling an incurable brain tumor. She shared a poem Audrey Anderson's mother dedicated to her when the chime was installed:
"My time has come to ring this chime. A simple sound, a simple sign, that tells the world this is my time, to cherish the health that I will find."
“We just feel so proud of him that he's done it. I was emotional and didn't cry but I think I'm going to now. Hey, we're so proud of you,” Gemma Edgar said.
Noah and his family will head back to England next month, where he has a few more rounds of chemotherapy.
They said they hope to find out Noah is cancer free by September.