Dr. Charles Siburt, who have served in the College of Biblical Studies for more than two decades, continues his battle against a form of cancer that affects plasma cells. He and his family are waiting to see if his conditions improve from his latest treatment, during which he spent four weeks at Zale Lipshy Hospital in Dallas.
Dr. John Siburt, senior minister at Richardson East Church of Christ and Charles Siburt’s son, says doctors are out of treatment options for his father, associate dean for ministry programs and services.
“They knocked the cancer down and gave him some of his stem cells to give his marrow some good cells,” Siburt said. “If his stem cells graft back in, it will have been a successful treatment that may have given him back a month of life.”
Charles was diagnosed with IGM Multiple Myeloma, aÂ cancer that destroys cells that produce antibodies, in August 2009. He went through a bone-marrow transplant in March 2010 and went into remission. however, Charles relapsed in January 2011.
Charles’ latest treatment involved taking some of his stem cells and infusing them into his bone marrow. Doctors hope that this will help to create white blood cells within his marrow, where the cancerous cells are.
“It’s been a long journey, and a tough one; we obviously are hoping for as much time with my dad as possible,” John said. “But at the same time it’s been a beautiful experience in a number of ways.”
Charles has continued his ministry despite his illness. He has continued to consult with churches, teach classes and mentor ministers, say family and friends.
Dr. Jack Reese, CBS dean and a longtime family friend, says Charles has always been passionate about the ministry in which he’s engaged, counseling with churches in crisis and conflict.
“He works with 30-40-plus churches per year,” Reese said. “He was determined to keep up his work, not because he is driven to work but because he is driven to help churches.”
John said he has witnessed his father’s commitment to maintaining his quality of life, as well as his love for people.
“I’ve watched my parents faith be put into action and be put on display,” he said. “They’ve endured suffering and disappointment with courage and faith.”