Nautical Scientist Takes to Radiation Therapy

Jul. 23, 2015

T KayodeOluwatosin “Tosin” Kayode, M.S., R.T.(R)(T), CMD, no longer takes life for granted. Tosin experienced a life-altering ordeal in the winter of 1998 that changed his outlook forever. It led him to the United States to pursue an education in the radiologic sciences and, subsequently, to seek a Varian Radiation Therapy Student Scholarship from the ASRT Foundation.

“The Foundation scholarship helped me earn my bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy from Arkansas State University in 2007,” Tosin, also a Foundation donor, explained. “The scholarship opportunities offered by the ASRT Foundation help make dreams a reality for many students.”

Tosin’s introduction to the radiologic science profession stemmed from a seafaring incident that left him and 52 crewmembers marooned in the Atlantic Ocean for four months. Tosin, a native of Nigeria, was serving as a nautical scientist aboard an oil tanker working off the coast of western Africa. Following the completion of its expedition, the ship was headed back to port when both of its generators failed, shutting down the engine. With no communication or power, the ship drifted out to sea.

“When I was stranded on the boat for so long, that’s where I had the change in attitude about life,” said Tosin. “Life is all about how you affect your community and what you do for your fellow mankind. I realized that everything is not about me.”

After nearly 120 days at sea, Tosin and the crew were spotted and rescued. Amazingly, everyone survived, but most of the crewmembers were malnourished and very sick, including Tosin. After the rescue, he was sent to the hospital, where he received his first x-ray, which led to a crucial diagnosis of pneumonia. He spent nearly a month recovering there, and it was then that he became interested in the radiologic science field.

“When I was in the hospital, I realized that there was virtually no radiation therapy and minimal radiologic science equipment in Nigeria,” added Tosin. “At that point, I decided I was going to leave my career as a nautical scientist and devote my life to helping others through a career in the radiologic sciences.”

Since then, Tosin has actively pursued his new passion. He is currently a medical dosimetrist at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Tosin has also taken core physics classes at the University of Memphis to prepare for the coursework needed to earn an advanced degree to become a medical physicist.

“I plan on applying for an additional scholarship from the ASRT Foundation when I begin my studies in medical physics,” said Tosin. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

During his free time, Tosin and his brother play traditional African music in the group Iyanu Live! The duo has performed throughout the U.S. and overseas. He also enjoys playing keyboard and drums for his church and spending time with his family.

Tosin’s ultimate goal is to start a clinic in Nigeria that will provide the entire spectrum of radiologic sciences services. “There are no schools that train students in radiologic sciences and very few facilities that offer services in Nigeria. I hope to bring those opportunities to the people in Africa.”