Fighting Cancer in Taylor’s Honor: Rubesh and Carrie Jacobs

September 18, 2012

When Rubesh and Carrie Jacobs found a growth on the tail of their yellow Labrador retriever, they knew where to find help. Both 2002 graduates of the Fisher College of Business MBA program, they were confident that Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center would have answers for them. Testing revealed a cancerous tumor that would require amputation of Taylor’s tail.

With the cancer successfully removed, life returned to normal for almost a year. Then the disease reappeared, and, sadly, Taylor died 10 months later. The care and compassion they received at Ohio State, however, made a lasting impression. They appreciated the level of expertise and professionalism from the veterinarians, students, and staff.

Because of this, the couple was inspired to give to the Veterinary Medical Center both financially and personally. “We saw Taylor treated so well, and we were treated so well that we decided we wanted to provide support to help others,” said Rubesh, a native of Sri Lanka who owns and operates SR Jacobs & Company with his wife.

The first gift from the Jacobs was in the form of experimental cancer drugs that Taylor could, unfortunately, only handle for a short time. They donated the remainder of the medication, worth thousands of dollars, back to the hospital for use by other patients.

They followed with monthly contributions to the hospital, focusing their gifts in the oncology area to benefit dogs like Taylor who face a cancer diagnosis. “We have learned that the cycle time to learn from dogs is so much shorter than in humans,” he said. “This means quicker study results and subsequent use for future treatments.”

The Jacobs agree that few resources, comparatively speaking, go into veterinary oncology research nationally. “Since we know Ohio State puts a great deal of emphasis on research, we want to do our part to help others who consider their pets members of the family,” Carrie said. “We wanted to become active in raising funds because it’s truly a program that is close to our hearts.”

The couple continues to use the hospital’s services for Taylor’s sister, Skylar, who has been treated at Ohio State for a torn ACL and other injuries related to her active lifestyle. Skylar serves as honorary coach for Carrie, who now participates with Rubesh in marathons.

The Jacobs are members of the President’s Club, Ohio State’s recognition society for leadership annual giving. They also enjoy taking part in special events such as a strategic planning weekend for the Veterinary Medical Center. They are pleased to be asked for input and to be engaged with the university.

“Ohio State is a great institution,” Rubesh said. “The community is blessed to have a vet school of this caliber.”

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