Dr. Bjorn Baadjes, BC Children’s first Kiwanis Oncology Fellow
Fifteen-year-old Abbie Evans was diagnosed with high risk acute leukemia in 2010. In and out of the hospital for months, she underwent chemotherapy and she also required a bone marrow transplantation.
Thankfully, it has been over three years since her transplant and the chances of her leukemia coming back are very low.
Dr. Bjorn Baadjes is training to help give children, like Abbie, a bright future. He is the inaugural oncology fellow which is being funded by the Pacific Northwest Children’s Cancer Society (Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program) at BC Children’s Hospital.
After Dr. Baadjes’ two-year fellowship term, his goal is to set up the first children’s cancer unit in Namibia, where he will be the country’s sole pediatric oncologist.
Dr. Baadjes knew from the moment he finished high school that he wanted to have a lifelong career in medicine.
“I made one of the best decisions of my life. I am happy helping people, happy in my career,” said Dr. Baadjes in a recent issue of Speaking of Children magazine. “I believe one should be happy with your job to be happy in life.”
Dr. Baadjes started his medical training at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. After few years of working as a general practitioner, he followed his calling to specialize in pediatrics.
This desire to work in children’s medicine let him to return to his studies at Stellenbosch University. He completed his pediatric training at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.
Wanting to continue his studies once more, Dr. Baadjes decided to take on a Kiwanis Oncology Fellowship and train in the a sub-specialty of pediatric hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplant.
Dr. Baadjes is appreciative for the chance to further his training, “I just want to thank the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program for giving me the opportunity to get this training and bring it back to my country.”
To learn more about Dr. Baadjes and his Oncology Fellowship watch a video created for the Pacific Northwest Children’s Cancer Society: