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New hospital, new hope

October 15, 2014

As the nation’s third-largest cancer hospital opens at Ohio State in December, more patients will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and unparalleled expertise in battling cancer. There will be more survivors, like Allyn Sachs, who says, “I’m just going to live my life and not worry about (cancer).”

Six months ago, Allyn Sachs didn’t have much time to think.

She couldn’t kick a nagging cough and went to see her doctor. An X-ray revealed a tumor on her right lung. When she was diagnosed with lung cancer in late February, Sachs knew where she would go next.

“I came to the James because my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 50s. Dr. James was her surgeon, and
she lived till she was 85. That’s where I was going to go.
Nowhere else.”

Dr. Patrick Ross Jr., chief of thoracic surgery at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, performed robotic surgery to remove her tumor on March 10. The less invasive procedure meant the 63-year-old from Mount Sterling, Ohio, was up and walking during her four-day stay at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

“No mercy!” she says, laughing now.

Sachs is able to enjoy quite a few laughs on a sunny September afternoon in front of the new James, which opens in December. She is here to take a photograph with just part of the team that provided her with the expert care she needed to overcome lung cancer, but it becomes a happy reunion.

Ross is by her side, smiling broadly. The “girls from the 11th floor of Martha Morehouse,” as she calls them, and housekeepers, therapists and a host of other support staff offer hugs and updates on their own children.

“As I saw everybody today, they remember you. They hug you. It’s like you’re involved with really good friends. It helps when you’re scared and feeling a little low.”

Sachs had her six-month, post-surgery checkup the day before the photograph. Her prognosis is great, and her energy has returned.

“I’m just not going to worry about (cancer),” she says. “I’m just going to live my life and not worry about it. That’s the best I can do.”

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The new James in numbers

3rd largest cancer hospital in the U.S.
21 stories
1.1 million square feet
1 fully integrated cancer emergency department
306 inpatient beds
14 operating rooms
6 interventional radiology suites
7 linear accelerators for radiation therapy
1 dedicated early-phase clinical trials unit

'A cancer-free world
begins here'

CEO Michael Caligiuri, MD, blogs about the way the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute brings together more closely than ever before groundbreaking scientific research and innovative patient care.

'Beating cancer'

The November - December issue of Ohio State Alumni magazine offers greater insights about the fight against cancer taking place across the university.