COLUMBIA, 10/31/11 (Beat Byte) -- A rare metastatic cancer has befallen a University of Missouri family medicine and health professions leader friends say has dedicated his life to teaching about caring, commitment, and in the words of a famous book title, the way of the peaceful warrior. His unusual response to the diagnosis is worthy of national news.

David Oliver, Ph.D.,
assistant director of the MU Interdisciplinary Center on Aging and a School of Medicine faculty member, has decided to use his recent diagnosis -- stage four nasopharyngeal carcinoma that has spread to both his lymph nodes and bone -- as a teachable journey about his "great health care team," his chemotherapy treatments, and what he calls "an exciting chapter in my life."

"If ever there was time to be a good teacher -- this is it," he says in a frank
three-minute Youtube clip filmed earlier this month that he followed up with a humorous chemotherapy haircut video.

Smiling, casual, and forthright in a golden Mizzou-logo shirt, Oliver jokes about the "special" role Jayhawks and Sooners are going to play in his chemotherapy recovery efforts, and says some of his staff and friends are taking the news "kinda hard," but "we're gonna get through it."

Viewers have responded accordingly. "You have once again touched my heart," says Janie B. "Really proud of your courage and this great video. Keep the faith, KICK ITS ASS, and get better," Kerry writes. "Not many people could create laughter in a video of this nature," Amy adds.

Oliver concludes with positive thoughts about coming through. "
I wanna do it well," he says. "It's gonna be okay. It's gonna be all right."  

David Oliver videos

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