FSU med school student matches with residency after overcoming battle with leukemia

FSU med school student matches with residency after overcoming battle with leukemia.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 8:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A student at FSU’s College of Medicine received a standing ovation last Friday, when he matched with his top-choice residency at FSU’s matching ceremony.

Cody Canavan was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago and took several years off of school to undergo treatment.

After that diagnosis, he had to accept a new reality--trading his med school classes for chemotherapy appointments.

Through it all, his dad was right by his side.

“I shaved my head for him,” Cody’s father, Joseph, said. “I went to work with a with a shaved head. I didn’t want him to be the only one in the family.”

Joseph said he was blown away by how well his son took the diagnosis.

“Most people, and I’m one of them, would probably look and say, ‘Why me? Why me? Why did this happen to me?’” Joseph said. “Not once--and I swear to God I’m not exaggerating--not once did I ever hear Cody say, ‘Why me, dad? Why did this happen?’ He just, he took it on the chin and he was positive through everything.”

When the time came, Joseph didn’t hesitate to donate his bone marrow to Cody.

“There’s no question in my mind,” Joseph said. “I was gonna do whatever it took.”

After a successful transplant in 2017, and years of recovery, Cody returned to FSU College of Medicine in 2020. And on March 18, he achieved a milestone he’s been waiting for for a lifetime. He matched with his top choice residency program at Carolinas Medical Center

“I remember a couple years ago, I was sitting in those seats watching my original class match,” Cody said at the ceremony. “At the time, I didn’t really ever know if I was going to get to walk across this stage myself, but, we did it.”

Although his dream since he was a kid was to be an orthopedic surgeon, that dream recently changed.

Now, Cody plans to become an oncologist specializing in blood cancers like leukemia.

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