Leaving a legacy of hope
It’s not often that meeting someone once leaves a lifelong impression.
Dr. Robert Arceci was one of those people. When I heard the news that the pediatric oncologist from Phoenix Children’s Hospital was killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way to work, I wept. I’d met him once. Dr. Arceci earned the Physician of the Year award at Az Business magazine’s Healthcare Leadership Awards in April.
While I knew his work, I didn’t know the man until I met him at the awards. I wasn’t the only one touched by his positive energy. “This man was full of life and goodness,” said fellow
editor Amanda Ventura. “He left an impression. He rushed the stage when he won the award and threw up a high-five instead of a handshake upon a second meeting.” That’s who he was. He lived life so completely and with such energy that I wasn’t surprised a bit to learn that he rode a motorcycle to PCH, where he was a brilliant cancer researcher and a skilled and compassionate
According to his biography on the hospital’s website, a large part of Dr. Arceci’s focus was to bring together teams of multidisciplinary groups of investigators to develop scientifically robust and interactive environments for molecularly based, individualized treatment. Just like he did with every adult he met, Dr. Arceci made every child feel special. Amanda summarized Dr. Arceci’s legacy best.
“His work will leave an impression and hope for children who learn too quickly that life is indiscriminately unfair,” she said. Yes. Sometimes life is very unfair.