Faith inspires pediatric rheumatologist’s work

Tamara Vineberg - 27 April 2021

Dax and Rachel Rumsey went to St. Peter's Square in Vatican City during their honeymoon. Newlyweds can get a special blessing by the Pope during his weekly audience if they wear their wedding clothes. The weekly audience has crowds of up to 80,000 people. The newlyweds are seated near the front.

 Dax Rumsey is the divisional director of pediatric rheumatology, and we spoke to him about his life influences.

Why do you love working in the Department of Pediatrics?

I love working in this department for multifarious reasons. The people are wonderful. There is a sense of general goodwill and community here. I embrace my work in pediatric rheumatology. The patients and families with whom I work are such a joy and my colleagues are the best I could imagine. The field of rheumatology is interesting and ever expanding. I love “coming to work” (often now on Zoom) every day!

We heard that you have pursued courses in Catholicism. Why did you want to take these courses?

I actually thought long and hard about becoming a Catholic priest. I ended up taking a leave of absence from medical school after second year to join the Seminary. I ultimately discerned that something called me to marriage, but I learned a lot about myself and life during that time. It is a lifelong learning process for me, and I continue to read and learn about my faith every day.

Why do you have a passion for Catholicism?

Good question! I think that, for me, it has been a part of experiences—large and small—over time that have led me to have a passion for it. The examples of the strong faith lived out by my great aunts, Sr. Myra and Aunt Odie, in Newfoundland, were very influential. Attending World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto was an important experience. Through these relationships, this community, and personal prayer, I have experienced genuine love (willing the good of the other), forgiveness, and joy.

Who inspires you personally, and why?

My three heroes in life are Jesus, my dad, and Terry Fox - in that order. Each of them touches me in different ways. Jesus, for obvious reasons. My dad is an amazing father who was and is extremely dedicated to loving those around him, specifically his family. Terry Fox was just incredible. I still can’t believe that he ran a marathon a day for 143 days straight on one leg… all to raise money so that others would not have to suffer like he did! He is a Canadian superhero and should be on the $5 bill.

What is your favourite meal?

My favourite meal comprises trout, peaches and cream corn on the cob, any form of potato (especially Miss Vickie’s plain chips), and a glass of ice-cold Torbay, Newfoundland tap water, with apple pie and French vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Which would you choose - Star Trek or Star Wars? How would you defend this preference?

Star Wars! I never got into Star Trek at all, but I really enjoy the Star Wars series. There are so many good characters, notably Chewie and Yoda! There are also an abundance of excellent lessons about life in there, as well!

How else have you been keeping busy?

I have been keeping busy spending time with my beautiful wife, Rachel, and our children, the Rumbubbles. I have been reading, running, skating (until recently), playing board games, and writing.