Month: March 2018


The family and I are going on vacation to the Philippines. We will mostly stay at the house of Adrienne’s parents in Manila. But for four days Adrienne and I want to go diving on Pandan island. Diving does not require a great deal of effort but being deep underwater has risks. To be able to dive the guidelines (and thus every respectable dive shop) requires you to either be healthy or to have a recent medical checkup by a certified medical doctor.
The first specialists that I contacted told they could not check me because my case was too complicated for them. In the end I was checked up by the sport medical doctor of the Jeroen Bosch hospital, who also consulted my neurologist and hematologist.
There is no reason why I can’t dive, and I got my certificate. Let’s see how it goes!

Posted by Bram, 3 comments

Graduation of my last Ph.D. student

Mohsen Ghafoorian, the Ph.D. student I supervised since 2013 graduated on March 8.
Mohsen was there when I was diagnosed with MS, when the disease progressed and I had to stop supervising four other Ph.D. students, and when I was diagnosed with brain cancer last year.
It was a great pleasure to be the first one to address Mohsen after he received his title in an official ceremony. Not only did Mohsen perform excellent scientific work. Some days my MS made me slow, sometimes my speaking was slurred, or my thinking clouded. On these days I felt inadequate as a supervisor, but Mohsen never made me hesitate to ask for an explanation, and he always took time to discuss ideas. I left our meetings with a great feeling, a sense that I did contribute, that I was heard, and that my opinion was valued.
For now, Mohsen was my last student. Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to co-supervise a new Ph.D. student.

Posted by Bram, 1 comment