From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders
June 21, 2021
Most of us can remember playing with a dump truck as a child. There was something so satisfying about loading it up with sand, rocks, and dirt and then tipping it upward to dump the contents in a heap. Perhaps it was an infatuation with getting dirty, or maybe, deep down, we were drawn to the sweet release of dumping a burden.
OHC patient Arthur Vogt knows what it is to carry a burden. In April 2019, he was diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 bladder cancer. “I was determined not to let cancer define me,” said Arthur. “I prayed to God for strength to get me through the treatment and keep a positive attitude.”
OHC’s David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, a noted oncologist and hematologist whose specialties include lung cancer and urologic cancer, treated Arthur with immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Arthur received radiation under the expert care of OHC radiation oncologist David Pratt, MD. “Dr. Waterhouse told me he doesn’t like to lose, and I don’t either, so we hit it off right away,” said Arthur.
“I always told Arthur that I had a plan B for every plan A,” said Dr. Waterhouse. “His positive attitude made a big impact on his treatment.”
“Whenever I went to OHC for treatment, they always made me feel like I was the most important person in the room,” said Arthur. “They made sure I was comfortable, explained everything, and asked about my wife, Joanie, when she couldn’t be with me because of COVID. I recall Dr. Pratt spending over an hour explaining my radiation plan. He didn’t want me to leave until I understood what to expect. He was amazing.”
Arthur, a skilled carpenter, developed his passion for woodworking after he found himself unhappy with his job. “I felt there had to be something else out there,” said Arthur. “I worked on a job putting a deck around a pool, and I fell in love with carpentry.”
Arthur eventually started his own custom cabinetry company called A Work of Art. He was successful in the business for 25 years and retired in 2012. “I was working 80-100 hours a week,” said Arthur. “I never had a customer call to say my work wasn’t right. My motto was, ‘There’s only one way to do things. If you take time to do it right the first time, you won’t have to do it again.’” Arthur’s retirement lasted six months before he started doing woodworking projects for select friends and building Shaker furniture and cabinets out of reclaimed salvage wood.
Strong in faith and active in their church community, Arthur and Joanie refer to themselves as “Good Will Snipers.” They do acts of kindness silently, never seeking recognition.
Now, Arthur wants to share his good will with children affected by cancer. He recently came across a book on building wooden trucks with a chapter on dump trucks. A light bulb went off in his head. In his basement workshop, he could build wooden toy dump trucks filled with lettered tiles that spell CANCER. Giving them to children impacted by cancer would provide them a way to “dump” the disease.
Arthur sources four different types of wood to make the trucks. He hand paints the letters on each tile. “They have to be perfect,” said Arthur. He has created an assembly line system to build them efficiently, but each truck takes 25 hours to make.
With the help of OHC, Arthur is donating his works of “art” to children and families and to local cancer organizations including Cancer Family Care and Dragonfly who work with families affected by cancer. “My only desire is to bring some hope and perhaps some fun to the children who can ‘dump cancer away’,” said Arthur.
Arthur recently shared his joy of woodworking and gifted his first truck to Abigail Zhang and her family. Abigail is an OHC patient being treated for ovarian cancer and was thrilled with the symbolic dump truck. Her son Edmond, age four, immediately took to the dump truck and his younger sister, Caroline, joined in on the fun.
Arthur feels much lighter these days. His scans in February showed no signs of cancer. Reflecting on OHC, Arthur said, “I couldn’t have gone to a better place. It’s the most tremendous group of people in one building that you could have. I could sing their praises as long as I had a voice!”
Top picture: Arthur and Joanie Vogt (back row) had the opportunity to meet the Zhang family at Summit Park in Blue Ash. Front row: Caroline and Edmond Zhang, 2nd row: Caroline and Edmond’s grandmother, Karen Lu, and Abigail and Ryan ZhangComments (0)